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TRAGIC DRAMAS. 



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TRAGIC DRAMAS; 

. CHIEFLY INTENDED FOR 

REPRESENTATION IN PRIVATE FAMILIES : 

* 

TO WHICH IS ADDED, 

ARISTODEMUS, 

A TRAGEDY, 

FBOM THE ITALIAN OF VINCBNZO MONTI. 



BY FRANCES BURNEY. 



— — " Virtue owns the Tragic Muse a friend ; 
" Fable her means, Morality her end." 

Chabbb. 



LONDON: 

PRINTED BY THOMAS DAVISON, WHITEFRIARS, 

FOR THE AUTHOR ; 

AND SOLD BY J. MURRAY, ALBEMARLE-STREET. 

1818. 






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PREFACE 



A long apology for a short work may be liable to 

r 

just censure, as annexing to a trifle an undue im- 
portance. Various motives, nevertheless, having 
combined to induce the Writer of the following 
pages to bring them before the Public, she is de- 
sirous, by stating a few of them, to obviate as much 
as possible, the imputation of temerity, to which the 
publication of them may subject her: more espe- 
cially since, wholly unknown herself in the world of 
literature, she can adduce the name, only, of her 
family, to attract attention, and stimulate curiosity, 
unaccompanied by any pretensions to the abilities 
requisite to fix the one, or gratify the other. 



It has always appeared to her, that the objections 
which may be urged against private Theatres, in 

$* n %i Nov/-. \<ji? 



Tl PREFACE. 

general, are not, injustice, applicable to those domes- 
tic Representations, in which the younger branches 
of a family perform select pieces ; and to which only 
parents, relations, or friends particularly intimate, 
are admitted : and she has the sanction of judgments 
far superior to her own, and even clerical authority, 
for deeming the innocent and interesting recreation 
of speaking in character, to a little circle of chosen 
friends, an exercise not more obviously calculated 
to afford general entertainment, than to promote 
individual improvement. 

Most people, at some period of their lives, are 
fond of what is usually termed spouting; while 
such as have, for themselves, outlived that inclina- 
tion, often derive nearly equal amusement from wit- 
nessing the scenic efforts of their juniors. Recourse, 
therefore, is not unfrequently had to Stage-plays, 
for, the purpose of private exhibition: but even 
where these are not objectionable in any other re- 
spect, which is by no means invariably the case, it 
is a task, demanding no inconsiderable skill and 
pains, to modify or curtail, so as to accommodate 



PREFACE. VII 

them completely to the purpose ; while to perform 
them in their pristine state, would frequently be 
attended with difficulties yet more insurmountable. 

Something, therefore, distinct from these, yet of 
more continuity of interest, than can be maintained 
by the recitation of detached Speeches, Dialogues, 
or Scenes, though selected from dramatic works 
of even the highest excellence ; — Something, also, 
which consistently with propriety, and perfect free- 
dom from any evil tendency, may admit of more 
impassioned action and diversified effect, than is 
usually thought within the province of the Sacred 
Drama, appears desirable in our literature. The 
Writer is well aware that she is, herself, incapable 
of supplying the deficiency she indicates; having 
neither the time nor the talents needful for the pur- 
pose ; but ventures to offer both her little sketches, 
in the hope that, not only, some hand more skilful 
than her own, will hereafter improve on the im- 
perfect plan which she merely shadows out; but 
that, notwithstanding their acknowledged faults of 
structure and execution ; their feebleness, and pert- 



7 



haps inaccuracy, of drtkm, since they have received 
no corrections but such as she has herself been able 
to give them; they will yet be found not inadequate 
to the purpose for which they were designed, 
and unexceptionable, at all events, in their moral 
tendency. 

A plot and scenery, of a simple, or at least, not 
complicated description; and characters, few m 
number, or if otherwise, attired in a costume easily 
adopted by either sex ; are among the lesser deside- 
rata of the domestic drama. An attempt has been 
made to combine them, respectively, in the two first 
pieces: little being aimed at, beyond furnishing 
materials for occasional amusement, which, if not 
esteemed as profitable, may at least be admitted to 
be harmless. 

It is, perhaps, a recommendation to these little 
Dramas, which would not advantageously be with- 
held, that they have both already been, more than 
once, represented by the junior members of a 
Family of distinction, and of the first respectability. 



PREFACE. IX 

That the performance of amiable and intelligent 
young persons should elicit applause from alt ad- 
ditory composed of their parents and private friends, 
could tend neither to excite the surprise, nor flatter 
the vanity of the writer. But she derives her chief 
encouragement to make them public, from the sym* 
pathy, apparently felt, and unequivocally expressed, 
on the part of the audience, with which every re- 
presentation has been honoured. Such demonstra- 
tions of interest, however, as are the result, in gene* 
ral, of something more than mere complaisance to 
either actors or author, she now adduces, gratifying 
as they must be, only as affording, perhaps, the best 
palliation she can offer for her apparent presumption. 

The publication of this little work has also been, 
in some measure, accelerated, by the circumstance 
erf several transcripts of the Dramas having been 
disseminated among friends who have requested 
copies. It seemed not impossible, that, by a casualty 
for which they might not be responsible, a more 
defective specimen might make its appearance, in 



PREFACE. 



these publishing' times , to the manifest detriment of 
the Writer in a variety of ways. 

Honoured as she must, of necessity, feel herself, 
by the flattering permission so kindly accorded her, 
to inscribe the inconsiderable labours of her pen to 
three Ladies, all less distinguished, even by their 
elevated rank, than by their eminently amiable and 
estimable qualities ; she is yet, from the very cir- 
cumstance of the honour so conferred on her little 
volume, compelled to feel, more sensibly, its in- 
trinsic unimportance : and the pride with which she 
would naturally contemplate names attached to her 
work, which would bestow consequence on any, is 
thence, not merely abated in her mind, but even 
converted into a sense of humiliation. 

Sensations of a similar kind, alike the result of 
conscious inferiority, accrue to the Writer from her 
bearing the names, which once designated her Aunt, 
Madame D'Arblay ; an Author, whose deservedly- 
admired compositions of another class, it is as need- 



PREFACE. XI 

* 

less, as, at this juncture, impolitic, to recall to the 
minds of the Readers. 

Fitzobmond, the only piece in this collection, 
which has any pretension to originality , or rather, 
perhaps, which owes nothing to a foreign hand, 
(for similitude may exist, though none has been 
intended,) will, nevertheless, as & juvenile attempt; 
make large demands on the indulgence of the Reader* 
This is stated, in strict justice to the piece itself; 
although to the majority, in all probability, of those 
who may peruse it, the internal evidence it exhibits, 
will sufficiently demonstrate the fact. It was, in- 
deed, begun at the age of seventeen : and though 
laid aside for a time, was concluded within a short 
period of its commencement. As will be evident, 
jt was written for a very limited, as well as youthful 
company ; and this circumstance, added to the great 
restrictions which the Writer was under in regard 
to scenery, occasioned her no small difficulty in the 
construction and conduct of her little plot ; to which 
her ignorance, at the time, of the established Laws 
of the Drama, not inconsiderably contributed, 

!l 



Halkx Adhil «w esaweady pat into Eagtaa 
verse, and into * dramatic £n,irijmf bii^, 
amateurs of tragic acting, to some among whom, 
the brevity of the parts allotted to themaebea rhr- 

the characters are by no means fully developed. To 
exhibit them in a more interesting point of new, 
perhaps, the action should have been begun at an 
earlier period of the story, and continued through 
five acts, to the close. But this would have required 
more leisure than could, at the time, be commanded 
for the experiment; and would probably, when 
done, have unfitted the piece, in some measure, for 
the purpose intended. The Prologue originally 
spoken at the performance, has oeen adjoined to 
this drama, only as affording an introduction, ap- 
parently necessary, to the local and relative situa- 
tions of the characters at its commencement. It 
has been attempted to preserve, in a certain degree, 
the unity of place, by substituting the Plains of 
Cesarea for Ascafon, the true scene of the decisive 
battle against the Saracens : but in other respects, 
the Romance of Madame Cottiw has been as 



PMFACE. X1U 

closely adhered to, and her sentiments as faithfully 
retained, as possible ; from every motive of respect 
and justice to her, the Spectators, and the Reader, 
as well as to the obvious assistance and advantage 
of the translating Dramatist. 

Aristodemus, which it is scarcely necessary to 
distinguish here, as intended, neither by its Author 
nor Translator, for private representation, she has 
perhaps, rendered into English with as little devia- 
tion from the celebrated Aristodemo of Monti, 
as the nature of the work, and the structure of our 
verse would allow. The original is the most ad- 
mired composition, as far as the Translator can 
learn, on the Italian stage ; and is seemingly pre- 
ferred, by the natives of Italy, even to the Tragedies 
of Alfieei himself. The work of translation was 
undertaken at the express recommendation of a 
Gentleman of that country, who was, himself, per- 
suaded that it might be performed, with effect, before 
an English Audience. It has never been submitted, 
however, to the judgment of any Manager : the 
little encouragement hitherto given, in our Theatres, 

> -3 



XIV FUFACX- 

to plays written on the ancient Greek model, ap- 
pearing sufficiently decisive of the question. 

To conclude, the three following atte mpt s are 
ushered into the world, with the anxiety natural on 
an occasion, which, however uninteresting to the 
Public, cannot, to the Writer, seem otherwise than 
awfully important But, while shrinking from the 
recollection of her own insignificance, whether as 
Author, Dramatist, or Translator, she deems her- 
self fortunate in the privilege to shelter it, even par- 
tially, under names of such eminence in the literary 
world, as are those of Monti and Cottik. 



F. B. 



London, July 14, 1818. 



CONTENTS. 



Fitzormond, or Cherished Resentment 
Malbk Adhsl, the Champion of the Crescent. 
Aristodkmcs, or the Spectre. 



i£ 



FITZORMOND; 



OB, 



<Kfierf$tf)rif £U*immetrt* 



n Ofr-» r l) 



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FITZORMOND; 



OR, 



CHERISHED RESENTMENT. 



A TRAGIC DRAMA. 



In QftttZ flUt* 



MOST RfiSPECTFUIXY INSCRIBED, 
BY PERMISSION, 
TO BER GRACE 

THE DUCHESS OP DORSET. 



51 \ 



DRAMATIS PERSONS 



^ ' J- Irish Noblemen. 

Chaklamont 



}lri, 

Josceline, an ancient Domestic of Fitzonnond's. 



Lady Fitzormond. 
Child. 



The Scene lie* in Ireland. 



FlTZORMOND, 



ACT L 

SCENE h 

A Forest, — Night. 

Enter Charlamont. 

Chat. Hail, solitary shades, for silent woe 
And deep, and mournful meditation made ! 
Whose dark recesses ne'er were yet explored 
By human foot; unless some wretch forlorn, 
Like me, .perchance, the sport of wayward fete, 
Has 'mid your glooms that friendly refuge sought 
Which the drear, grave alone can give to me I — 
Ye venerable oaks, whose tufted tpps 
And far-stretch'd boughs exclude the moon's pale beam, 
Bidding these wild and melancholy woods 
Frown with unvaried horror, ye are welcome, 
Thrice welcome to the soul your sadness suits ! 
The traveller with reverential awe 
Gazes upon you,, as the, monuments 

b 2 



4 FITZORMOND ', OR, Act I. 

Of ages past, when Druids met, perhaps, 

Amid your solemn shades, and spirits dwelt 

In the old hollows of your time-worn trunks ; 

But I will welcome your severest glooms, 

And dwell amid your dreariest ^solitudes. 

No living eye shall e'er again behold 

Or mock my sufferings. — Hah ! what light is this, 

Which casts its feeble rays athwart my way? 

Am I so near the hated haunts of man ?— 

A female form ! I am disco ver'd, — lost ! 

Dark night, befriend me ! I must pierce these shades, 

And seek their closest covert for my safety. 

[Exit into the tvood. 

SCENE II, 

Enter Lady Fitzormond, bearing a light. 

Lady. This light burns dimly ; and as I pass on, 
It seems to throw gigantic shadows round. 
I trust I was deceived — it could not be i— 
These unfrequented woods no ground afford 
For coward fear, or womanish distrust ; 
Yet still, methinks, that piercing through the glade, 
A form, no false illusion of the mind,— 
Quick darted 'cross my path : it could not be j 
And yet, methought I heard a human voice. 
It must be fancy all ; thi* effect alone 
Of feverous imagination, raising 
New terrors, ever, for the mind oppress*d : — 
Mine has been long enfeebled by th* endurance 



Scene III. cherished resentment. 5 

Of long-protracted, almost hopeless anguish. 

My husband ! oh ! what fearful images 

Throng on my fancy as my lips pronounce 

That name, so justly honour'd, — dearly lov'd ! 

For sure some fatal accident detains thee, 

Or thou but mock'st me with thy promis'd coming. 

Would thou wert here ! my frame enfeebled bends 

Beneath the weight of my anxiety 

For thee, and for my child, — perhaps, ere this 

Robb'd of a father ! Oh, avert the thought, 

All-pitying Heav'n ! and bid the ruthless war 

Which with its own blood deluges my country, 

And tears its entrails, cease from desolation I 

But let me seek the solitary cell. 

Once sacred to the holy hermit's prayers. 

Where undisturb'd, and by the world unheard, 

I dare breathe forth to heav'n my sad petitions. 

Devotion shall dispel the gloomy fears 

That haunt my mind, and bring the balm of ease. 

[Exit. 

SCENE III. 

Re-enter Charlamont, from the voood. 

Char. Angelic vision, stay ! ah no !— she's gone ! 
Where am I ? — Did my senses then deceive me, 
Or did I truly hear and see — my sister ? 
'Twas doubtless she j for by her taper's rays, 
And by the trembling beam of the wan moon,—- 
Which then first darted on us from the sky, 



* i 



6 F1TZORMOSD ; OR, Act /. 

Gilding her face with momentary light,—* 

I mark'd her well : that lovely form, that voice too ! 

I could not be mistaken.— I must follow ;— - 

]3ut no !— curs'd fate ! I dare not !— scarce I dare 

Thus linger here $ for danger lurks around* 

Perchance this spot, all dreary as it seems, 

May near her habitation lie. — Perchance 

There is for me no hope, no comfort left { 

Melania, wedded to some haughty lord, 

Perhaps may look with horror on this warid*rer, 

This vagrant brother, flying, still, the stroke 

Severe, of justice for a murd'rous deed. 

Her husband, too, may look with proud disdain 

On all the guilty wretchedness I bring, 

And scowl imperious on my misery. 

That thought brings daggers to transfix my heart !— 

Oh ! days for ever flown ! -rDays of delight ! 

Succeeded by long years of galling pain, 

Of torturing absence from my native home, 

My hapless mother, and my dear Melania — 

Is this your end at last ? Thus do I meet thee ? 

[Looking out, 
Thus plung'd in anguish, thus condemn'd to shame > 
And must I fly thee ) — No 5 whate'er th* event, 
If once again thou turn this way, I'll break 
The cruel chain that bound my tongue in silence, 
And pour my sorrows in thy gentle ear. 
Though I no hope expect to gain from thee, 
Thy soft compassion yet may sooth toy mind, 

[Exiti 



Scene V. cherished resentment. 



SCENE IV. 

- • * * • 

Enter Josceline. 

Jos, Could I but learn the secret cause which brings 
My lady* nightly, to this lonely spot, 
'Twould ease my mind of many painful fears 
Which have perplex'd it long.-^I hear her step ; 
She comes this way : the moon will soon appear., 
And aid me to perceive and note her purpose, 
While at a distance I remain to watch her. 
Forgive, fair lady, my intrusive zeal, 
Which seeks to know, what you would fain conceal. 

[Retires among the trees. 

SCENE V. 

Re-enter Lady Fitzormond. 

Lady. My taper's spent, yet am I loth to quit 
The deep'ning glooms of this sequester'd scene. 
The solemn hour of midnight comes ; the forest 
Is still, and darksome as the grave : no noise 
Breaks the dread silence of the hour, save where 
From yon far-distant battlements, the wind 
Brings to mine ear, with its own hollow whistlings, 
The screech-owl's ominous note :— a mournful sound, 
That thrills my mind with superstitious awe, 
And dire presagements of approaching ill ! 
Unfold, ye heavy, thick, portentous clouds \ 



8 * * 1 TZOBMOND ; OR, * Act /. 

And bid the radiant moon's bright glimmerings fidl 
O'er my bewilder' d path, to chase this horror 
Which creeps through every vein, and numbs my heart ! 

[Takes a picture, and sits down. 
Come forth, thou little treasur'd consolation 1 
Come, and charm far away these sad impressions, 
Dear image of my hapless Charlamont — 
My rash, my generous, ill-fated brother! 
Ah ! whither has thy cruel doom convey'd thee F 
Art thou on earth, or does thy listening spirit 
Still hover round, and witness my regrets ? 



SCENE VI. 

Lady Fitzormond, Charlamont. 

Char. Ah ! did I hear aright ? — And beats, Melania, 
Thy heart with all its wonted love for me ? 

Lady, (retreating.) Oh Heav'n ! what art thou? 

Char* Charlamont — thy brother! 

Lady* (alarmed.) Art thou indeed the shade of Char- 
lamont ? 

Char. Nay, I am Charlamont himself; and thus 
1 claim Melania s credence. [Embracing her* 

Lady. Oh! forgive 
If I have deem'd such joy was not for me ! 
Say by what happy chance thou'rt here ? 

Char. Through dangers, 
Through toils severe, and sorrows which, describ'd 
Would pain thy gentle soul, I found my way 



Scene VI. cherished resentment. g 

To blest Hibernia's shores. — Did I say blest ? 
Ah, no [ my happiness was gone for ever! 

Lady. Thou shouldst not be unhappy, for thy heart 
Is kind, and tender as the cradled babe's. 
But where hast thou been wand' ring, Charlamont ? 
And what has been thy fate since last I saw thee ? 
I will not chide thee now for cruelty ; 
But sure, my brother, 'twas unkindly done, 
To leave thy mother and myself ;«— to fly, 
Nor tell us why we lost thee ! 

Char. Dear Melania, 
I would not wound you with so sad a tale ; 
But 'twas a luckless duel, my dear sister,— 
Wherein I left for dead my fierce opponent, 
And stamp'd the mis'ry of my after life,— 
Which forc'd me to an ignominious flight ; 
Forc'd me to bring dishonour on our name. 
To India's golden climes I wing'd my way, 
When adverse fortune at one blow destroy'd 
My sole remaining hopes ; a corsair seiz'd 
Our hapless vessel, and for Tunis sail'd.— 
There, sold to slavery, and doom'd to chains, 
A tyrant master five long years I serv'd, 
Who, dying, left me free. Oh ! with what haste 
Would I again have sought my native isle ! 
But slow and painful were the steps, Melania, 
Which brought me hither. I would spare thee, yet, 
The sad recital of my miseries past, 
Since, Heav'n assisting, 1 at length found mean* 
To turn once more to lov'd Hibernia : then* 



10 FITZORMOND ; OR, A& I. 

I learn'd that be I thought a fetteo foej 
Still liv'd 5 I heaid a rumour of your marriage: 
But of my mother nothing could I learn, 
Nor ev'n your husband's name. 

Lady. Oh! my poor mother ! 
Thy cruel absence wrung her soul with anguish; 
Nor did she long so great a loss survive. 

Char. Wretch that I am ! vile slave of headstrong rage, 
And tool of passion, I destroyed that parent,— 
That dear, that tender parent ! — She who gave 
The life I am not worthy to possess, 
Liv'd but to, see her own by me embitter'd ! 
Unhappy, kyur'd mother ! let these tears, 
Which flow from unfeign'd sorrow, true repentance, 
Appease thy shade !— Oh ! that this impious hand. 
Which brought dishonour and disgrace on thee, 
Were perish'd, — ev'n to dust ! 

Lady. Hold, Charlamont! 
I must not see thee thus destroy thyself 
By these mad starts of passion. Calm the tempest 
Of thy distracted mind, and tell me how 
Thou hither cam'st. What friendly star convey'd thee 
To thy fond sister? 

Char. Chance conveyed me hither. 
I sought alone a savage wilderness, 
Wherein to hide me from mankind for ever; 
But since, for once, my destinies have smiUd, 
And brought me near th* abode of my Melania, 
I will to her disclose my sufferings, 
Ere I for ever bid the world farewell. 



Scene VL cherished resentment. 1 1 

But I already have enough reveafd 

To shock thy feeling tenderness for me j 

The rest I will defer : and for to night 

I'll leave thee, ev'n to 9eek amid these shades 

Some cavern' d hollow of an o'ergrown oak, 

Whose trunk may yield me shelter from the air.— 

Repose I look not for. Adieu, Melania ! 

{Embracing her. 
Again to-morrow meet me in this spot* 

Lady. Wilt thou not to the shelter of our roof? 
The castle stands on the proud eminence 
That woos yon silv'ry stream ; I'll lead thee to it ; 
Come with me. 

Char, No. 

Lady. But wherefore not ? 

Char. "Twere death, 
Or, worse than death, 'twere public degradation, 
For Charlamont, were he discover'd here :-~ 
Thy lord himself I dare not trust, Melania* 

Lady. Oh ! he is goodness all — all kind compassion ; 
And now is distant far. Alas ! my brother, 
Wherefore dost thou mistrust him * — wherefore fear } 

Char. I'm guilty, and I still must dwell in fear ; 
For 'tis their portion ever to be cowards, 
Who fed that they deserve tjh& ill? they meet 
This wood shall be my refuge : no pursuit. 
O'ertake me here ? here may I nurse my eadnew. 
And hide my shame. 

Lady. Ill not believe thee guilty; 
But since thou art so bent on solitude, 



12 fitzormoxd; or, Jet I. 

I'll point thee out a fitter place of rest. 

That path will lead thee to a moss-grown cell, 

Once an old hermit's simple habitation : 

There, thou may'st screen thee from the winds of night, 

And court repose in safety. Enter boldly $ 

That cell is sacred to my nightly prayers, 

When- 1 retire to pray for thee, my brother, 

And for my husband : no one else, believe me, 

E'er seeks admission there. 

Char. Since 'tis a spot 
Forsaken by the world, I'll gladly seek it $ 
For well 'twill suit the temper of my soul. 

Lady. To-morrow at the hour of noon I'll come, 
And learn the rest of thy unhappy story : 
I'll bring refreshments too, for sure thou need'st them> 
Till then, my Charlamont, farewell. 

Char. All joy 
Attend my much lov'd sister ! Be it hers 
Never to know a woe that equals mine i [Exit. 



SCENE VII. 

Manet Lady Pitzormond. 

Lady. Amen to thy sad pray'r, my hapless brother ! 
Oh ! why do we thus meet, — thus part ? What mystery 
Involves thy fate, too dreadful to unfold I 
Hah! Josceline here? — Heav'n grant he has seen nought 
To raise conjecture, or awake his doubts ! 



Scene VIIL cherished resentment. 13 



SCENE VIIL 

Lady Fitzormond, Josceline. 

What brings thee here, my friend } 

Jos. My fears for you. 
Pardon me, lady, that I interrupt 
'The sacred privacy of your retirement; 
But anxious apprehensions for your safety, 
In this lone wood,-^at this unwonted hour, — 
Induc'd me to pursue your steps : nay, more, 
I wish'd to warn you 'gainst th' approaching stormy 
That ev'n now gathers in the turbid air. 

Lady, (aside.) He has seen no one, and I breathe 
again. 
(Aloud) Josceline, go forward, I will follow thee. 
Lost in deep thought, I had not mark'd the storm ; 
Yet, though no tim'rous thoughts my bosom share, 
III take thy warning, and I thank thy care. [Exeunt. 



END OF ACT THE FIRST. 



14 riTZOKHOND; Oft, Ad 1L 



ACT II, 



SCENE I. 



Another part of ike Forest, near the Castle of Fitxornond. 

tsne, AfomtMg. 



Lady Fitzormond seated, her Child with a bashet, 

gathering flowers* 

To them, enter Joscblinb, toith a letter. 

Lady. A letter ?— and from whom ? 

Jos* (giving it J. From Lord Fitzormond. 
The messenger who brought it, was detain'd 
By a strong party of the enemy 
Which scours the country round : but just escap'd > 
He brings this letter from my noble Master. 

Lady (having read it J. The words are few, but joy* 
ous is their import. 
Oh! bounteous Heav'n! what blessings dost thoushower 
On me, and on my child ! This, this surpasses 
All that my fondest expectations form'd 
Of happiness, when Fancy held the reins, 
And sober Reason had resign'd her power ! — 
Josceline, thy lord will be with us ere noon. 

Jos. 'Tis earlier than I had presumed to hope. 
Lady, forgive an aged servant's weakness $— 



Scene II. cherished resentment. 15 

But I can ill restrain, though in your presence, 
Some drops of pleasure at my lord's return. 

Lady. Seek not t' excuse what I know how to value. 
Thy tears, good man, bespeak thine honest zeal; 
And best congratulate Fitzonnond r s wife. 

Jos. Some preparation will be needful, lady. 
Which I must hence to forward. 

Lady. Haste, oh haste ! 
Let gay festivity and music join 
To celebrate th' event of this glad day ! 
Perhaps Fitzormond enters now the forest : 
Do thou prepare ; I will remain to greet him ; 
For he must pass us to attain the. castle. 

[Exit JOSCELINK. 

SCENE II. 
Lady Fitzormond, Child. 

Lady. Rejoice, my child ! my best-belov'd, rejoice I 
Thy father comes to-day ! 
Child. And shall I see him ? 

1 have almost forgot him. 

Lady. What delight 
Will soon be mine, to give thee to his arms, 
And note the transports of paternal love ! 
Oh ! when I think of all I have endur'd, 

2 And of the blessed change which waits me now, 
Lost in the wild extravagance of joy, 

I am no more myself ! Delicious dream ! 
If such thou art, oh, let me ever hold thee, 



1(5 FITZOBMOND; OR, Ad 11. 

Nor e'er wake more to sad reality ! 

But hist! methought I heard approaching steps— 

[Rises, and looks out. 
My child, thy father comes ! 

Fitzormond (without J. Lead hence my horse. 
I see her now, and will proceed on foot. 



SCENE III. 
Fitzormond, Lady Fitzormond, Child. 

Fitz. My love ! [Embracing her. 

Lady* Thrice welcome, oh, my heart's best treasure! 

Titz. Sweet object of my soul's idolatry ! 
Balm of my life, Fitzormond's earthly heaven ! 
Have I attained this dear, long wish'd-for moment, 
And do I clasp thee ? 

Lady, Oh ! my sovereign good ! 
For whom so oft I've look'd, and look'd in vain, 
Art thou returned at last, to bless mine eyes, 
And give this image of thyself a father ? 

Fitz. My darling boy ! Let me embrace thee, too. 
How is it ? Art thou glad to see thy father ? 
Dost thou remember him, and wilt thou love him ? 

Child. I cannot say that 1 remember you -, 
But I shall love you, if you love mamma. 

Fitz. What, wilt thou love me for thy mother's sake ? 

Child. Yes; and I'll give you all my prettiest flowers : 
Woodbines, anemonies, and sweet wild-roses 5 
And many more whose names I do not know. 



Scene III. cherished resentment. 17 

I found them in the wood ; but you shall have them, 
If you will love mamma. 

litz. I'll dearly love her $ 
Yet though I thank thee for the gift, my child, 
I will not do deprive thee of thy treasures. 

Child. I pick'd them for mamma 5 but now they're 
yours 5 
And I will seek for more m yonder brake*. 

Fitz. What is this music ? [Music heard. 

Lady. Tis for thy reception. 
Our tenants long have pray'd for thy return ; 
And have prepared with songs to welcome thee. 
Wilt thou stay here to listen ? 

Fitz. Willingly. . 
The song is sweet which gratitude inspires, 
How mean so e'er the bard, or rough the lay. 

SONG, 

Set in night, thou baleful star 

With malignant influence shining : 

Waste no more our land with war, 
Anarchy, and sad repining. 

SEMI CHORUS. 

Rise, propitious planet, rise. 
Bright o'er Erin's beauteous isle ! 

Beaming from thy placid skies 
Peace's sweet celestial smile. 



18 wmaomMOHDi on, Act 11 



Bid her sons no longer 

Carnage o'er the land prevailing: 

Bid feir Peace's wiah'd return 

Chase hence sorrow and bewailing. 

CHORUS. 

Rise, propitious planet, rise, 
Bright o'er Erin's beauteous isle! 

Beaming from thy placid skies, 
Bid the happy nation smile ! 

Fttz. I thank thee, my Mehuria: thou bast studied 
The means to make me welcome. 

Lady. But, indeed, 
In this I have no merit : when successful 
In pleasing thee, I am best pleas'd myself. 

A dance of Tenants* Children. 

[Exeunt. 

SCENE IV. 

Another part of the Forest, as in Act J. 
Charlamont sitting in a mournful posture. 

Char* Oh I what a night of horror have I pass'd t 
Methought the spirits of the tempest hover'd 
Around my couch, to mock me with repose ; 
And haunt my feverish slumbers with the visions 
That most distract me, most unman my soul! 



Scene V. cherished resentment. 19. 

For, in the midst of my perturbed dreams, 
Before mine eyes the ministers of death, 
Of torture, rise, to tax me with rebellion, 
And fouler murder. — Spectres glide before me, 
And point at Charlamont, perdition's child ! 

[Rising hastily. 
See ! there they glance amid the trees ! — Avaunt ! 
Glim visions of a phrenzied mind, away ! 
Ye sting my soul to madness !— Phantoms, bence ! 
I'll bid a long adieu to fear and horror— 
My constant soul shall see you all, unmov'd. 
For why ?— This hand is deep in blood ; and fortified 
'Gainst all the threatening terrors ye prepare ! 
Then leave me! — So.— I am again alone. — 
I would be still alone ; the dreary grave 
Should be my darksome dwelling. There would I 
Lie ever hidden from the sun's proud beam ; 
For there my woes would cease, and all my shame 
Be hid frpm all. — There, there alone, I look 
For peace $ and yet, — an angel moves this way ! 
An angel sent me from the pitying skies! 

SCENE V. 

Charlamont, Lady Fitzormond with a basket. 

Lady. Thou seest me true to mine appointment, 
brother* 
I bring thee the refreshmente which I promis'cL 
Chan (fVUdlyJ.Yes-, true.— Who art thou } speak. 



20 rmoBJioKD ; oa, Act II. 

Lady. Thy fond Melania, 
Dost thou not know me > 

Char. Pardon me, — thou com'st — 
I had forgot. But no ; thou com'st to learn 
More of my wretched story ; com'st prepar'd 
To hate me, and to fly me far — for ever ! — 

Lady. Ah ! why these doubts of thy Mehwia's love ? 

Char. Say, art thou still the same* the kind Melania, 
The tender, fond companion of my youth ? 
Oh! then return — nor further tidings seek 
Of a lost wretch, whom Hope herself forsakes' !— 
—But, trust me, though I fought, 'twas my intent 
To take his life alone [In a law and hurried voice. 

Lady. Whose life ? 

Char* Fitzormond's. 
Curse on the sland'rous tongue that contradicts it f 

Lady. Fitzormond's? — Heav'ns! What can my bro- 
ther mean ? 
Thou didst not fight with him !— He lives, is safe, — 
Is here, — and is— oh Charlamont ! — my husband ! 

Char. (With surprise and horror J. Is he thy husband ? 

Lady. Yes ; for shortly after 
Thy flight from Erin, he address'd and won me; 
And Albion's isle beheld our plighted vows* 
He brought me to my native land again, 
The mistress of yon castle : ev'n the earth 
Beneath thy feet, is his. 

Char. (After a pause). Would that this earth 
Would open, and receive me to its caverns ! 
That I no more might hear thee speak, Melania > 



Scene V. cherished resentment, 21 

No more might hear those petrifying sounds 
Thou art his wife ! — My bitt'rest enemy's wife ! 

Lady. Thine enemy ! What means my Charlamont ? 
Fitzormond is the friend of Charlamont— 
The friend of all the good. 

Char. Thou, thou his wife ? — 
Oh! thou hast fir'd my brain ! Fitzormond, saidst thou? 
No, no! Thou canst not be Fitzormond's wife ! 
Thou art too good — too fair. A match like that 
In its own essence were impossible : 
'Twere darkness link'd to light ; the highest Heaven 
Leagu'd with the lowest Hell ! 

Lady. What may this be? 
Wherefore does thine outrageous tongue profane 
The sacred tie that binds me to Fitzormond ? 
Fitzormond is the master of my heart : 
Generous as great, he won my first affections 
Ere Heav'n had 'reft me of a parent's care; 
He wip'd the tear of anguish from mine eyes, 
When fate pronounced mean unfriended wretch; 
He took me, when the world had cast me off; 
And by. the sovereign ties of boundless love, 
And holy gratitude, enchain'd my soul ! 

Char. Each word thou utt'rest plants a dagger here ! 

[Striking his breast. 
Oh sister ! sister, — in my absence too ! 

Lady. Was I then wrong ? 

Char. If thou hast err'd, Melania 

Lady. If I have err'd ? What mystery is this ?< 
If I have err'd, the blame is wholly thine ! 



22 fitzormond ; OR, Act 1L 

Why did not Charlamont remain to guide me? 
Why did my brother fly ? 

Char. Keen, keen reproach, 
That justly brands me with deserv'd dishonour ! 
Why did I fly, indeed ?— Why save a life 
Now more than ever loath' d, since it is now 
Unvalued, ev'n by thee ! 

Lady. Have I deserv'd 
This harsh rebuke ? O pardon me, my brother, 
That I have hurt thee by my rash complaint. 
Forgive too, that I plead Fitzormond's cause : 
Remember, — he's my husband ! 

Char. I forgive thee ?•— 
Say that he's not thy husband, and I'll bless thee ! 
Nay more, 1*11 kneel to thee, I'll do thee homage, 
Kissing the dust thou tread'st on ! — say, Melania, 
But say, — thou'rt not his wife ! 

Lady* Oh ! never, never ! 
Sooner, plague, famine, and disease shall rack me 5 
Sooner, deep shame and dire despair be mine ; 
Sooner shall madness fire my tortur'd brain, 
Than I deny my marriage with Fitzormond !— 
To me, he's alii — Th* indulgent hand of Heaven, 
Though it profusely lavish' d bounties on me, 
Could add no blessing when it gave me him— 

Him, and his second self, my darling child, 

> 

Fitzormond's image, and Melania' 9 joy ! 

Char. Hast thou a child ? O teach him then, to curse 
me! 
Bid his young heart imbibe his father's hate ; 



Scene V. CHERISHED RESBNTMEtfrV 23 

His tongue lisp forth his father's imprecations 
Upon the name of Charlamont. — My sister, 
Tis not Fitzormond's child, unless he curse me ! 

Lady. No, he shall bless thy name, my Charlamont ; 
For I will teach him all his mother's love. 
But wherefore rack me with mysterious hints 5 
Yet keep me still in deepest ignorance ? 

Char. Shall I disclose the tenfold hideous truth, 
And bid Melania's gentle spirit hate me ? 
Oh ! rather go, since thou'rt Fitzormond's wife, 
And rest in peaceful ignorance of my fate. 
I cannot yet resolve to break a silence, 
Awful as that which hovers o'er the tomb.— 
Pity me, my Melania, my dear sister ;— 
I have not yet resolv'd to make thee hate me ! 

Lady. Wilt thou not speak ? Some future day per* 
haps— 

Char. No! When the sun, his radiant head conceaTd, 
Bids brooding darkness overspread the earth ; 
When the lone owl screams her nocturnal note, 
And no intrusive ear can catch the sound- 
Then, then, my sister, shall my tongue unfold 
The dreadful tale in all its horrors clad*— 
But, mark me ! — not till then. 

Lady. Be*t as thou wilt, 
Since thou perforce wilt cherish thine afflictions : 
This night I'll visit thee ; but now Fitzormoad 
Awaits me in the castle.— Charlamont, 
Thou wilt not in with me ? 

Char. No, Heav'n forbid ! 



14 mZOftJMON D } OR, Jet II. 

Lady. Heav'n then protect thee, and thy ways be- 
friend ! [Exeat**, severally. 

SCENE VI. 
£n/tr Fitzoim ovo hastily, JbUouxd by Joscklinb. 

Fill. Traitor, recall thy word* ! Taint not tl>e air 
With slander foul at this, lest, in the wrath 
Thy calumnies inspire, I tear thee piecemeal, 
And give thy mangled carcase for the food 
Of wolve* and carrion kites !— 

Jot, Oh ! good my lord, 
But deign to hear, and be thyself the judge. 

Fiti. Yes, I will hear; but on thy life, old man, 
Breathe not a word to taint Melania's fame, 
Pure as th f eternal snows on Alpine heights : 
Nor let thy venom'd tongue asperse her faith 5— 
"tf* firm as earth's sound base. 

Jot. Alas, my lord ! 
Your rage misconstrues all, and bears you far 
Beyond the object which I have in view. 

Fitz. Dotard, what object that ? 

Jos. I only mean, 
Indeed, my lord, to rouse your circumspection, 
Lest your too noble nature be abus*d 
By easy faith, and misplac'd trust, perhaps, 
Jn one-** 

FUx. In one who merits all my trust : 
On whose unspotted purity of soul 
Sp firmly, so securely I rely, 



Scene VI. cherished resentment. 20 

That all thy malice can invent or urge, 
Is lost upon me*— She's so deeply rooted 
In my affection, that no earthly words 
Would be of pow*r to shake my stedfast faith 
In her true constancy, and matchless worth. 
But to thy proofs : unless thou bring' st me these, 
Thou losest all my friendship,— all thy pains. 

Jos. Proofs I perhaps have none : suspicions, such 
As may amount to 

Fitz. Slave ! and dar'st thou then 
On mere suspicion thus presume to bring 
Thine idle dreams to me ? — Away ! 
Jos. My lord' 

Fit%. What can'st thou urge in thy defence for this, 
Presumptuous reptile 1 

Jos. I can nothing urge, 
But that I am too prone, when duty calls, 
And your dear honour is the cause in question, 
Too prone, indeed, to think your wrongs mine own, 
I have been long, I trust, a faithful servant 
To you, my lord $ nay, from my earliest years, 
I serv'd your father with fidelity : — 
Tis hard, indeed, — now that old Age has strewn 
His silv'ry honours o'er my drooping head, — 
To find the meed of all my labours this ; 
To find my word discredited $ mine age 
With scorn and anger spurn'd; by him, from whom 
I hop'd most kindness, and deserv'd most trust. 
Pardon, my lord 5 these tears had not disgrac'd 
My wither'd cheek, had you been just y but now, 



26 FITZORMOND; OR, Act it. 

Too late, I see that I was rashly bold, 

» 

When I attempted warning you against 

The evils I foresee. And yet, my lord, 

Believe me here ;— I prize your honour more 

Than all the worthless world contains for me: 

But here I end $ my too importunate love 

Shall never trouble or offend you more, [Going* 

Fitz, Stay, Josceline, and let me now intreat, 
As sure I ought, thy pardon. Good old man, 
For worlds I would not hurt or injure thee ; 
But trust me, every word of thy reproach 
Has deeply wounded me. 

Jos. You are too good. 
Oh! did I dare reproach you > No 5 my tongue, 
However free, could never dare assume 
So wide a license as to have reproach'd you ! 
, Fitz. Here is my hand. Now, Joeceline, declare, 
(For mueh my curiosity is rais'd, 
Though I disclaim all fear, and all distrust,) 
What in thy lady's conduct thou hast noted, 
To authorize the doubts thou f osterest ? 

Jos. E'er since the day you brought your lovely bride 
To proud Fitzormond's tow'rs, I've had, my lord, 
At times, these same surmises. It is now, 
I think, six years ago. 

Fitz. It is 5 proceed. 
My heart accuses me of wronging her, 
While I but listen to th' insidious tale. 

Jos. Yourlord8hipknowgthatshe,attimes,isplung'd 
In fits of melancholy* These I noted j • 



Scene VI. cherished resentment. 27 

And much I thought, but never dar'd reveal 

The doubts that fiU'd my mind. Oft too, I found, 

When you, my lord, were absent from the castle 

T' attend the field, your lady would steal out, 

Ev'n at the midnight hour, whene'er the moon 

Had shed her tender radiance on the earth. 

Long time I knew BOt where she bent her steps; 

But took occasion, once, to watch at distance. 

Last night I mark'd her, near this lonely spot, 

Sitting beside yon rivulet that winds 

Its way among the woods. Her lovely head, 

In mournful seeming, rested on one hand ; 

While in the other she a picture held, 

Which from her bosom she with fondness took, 

And wept as she caress' d it. 

Fitz. Josceline, 
Art thou assur'd she then no picture held 
Which bore thy lord's resemblance ? 

Jos. Well assur'd ; 
For on the mossy turf I softly stole, 
And gaz'd, unseen, upon the sacred treasure ; 
It bore the semblance of a youthful hero, 
, But was not yours, my lord. 

Fitz. Proceed ; for now 
I own myself perplex'd. — (Aside.) Nay, ev'n alarm'd. 

Jos. All this, your lordship well may think, amaz'd me. 
But now a newer matter of surprise 
Arose before me. Yesternight I saw, 
Here, on this spot, a stranger with your lady, 
In earnest converse, often with embraces 
And fond endearments mingled. 




Jos. It is, my lord. 
My lady, too, was absent from the 
Precisely at the time. 1 could not gam 
Your lordship's patient bearing earlier, 
Or yon had not been ignorant till now. 

FUz. I cannot blame thee, Josorline, for cVn now 
I grieve that ignorance is mine no more ! 
Fare thee well, Joscefine, I would be alone. 

[Exit Jos<;elihk. 



SCENE VII. 

Manet Fitzormond. 

Why, why am 1 to learn a tale like this? 
A tale so fraught with ruin to my hopes ? 



Scene VIII. cherished resentment. 29 

How a few words that alienate esteem, 

Graft sour suspicion on love's tender stem!— 

I loathe a life of jealous vigilance 5 

But would discreetly act, while doubt can be 

Of her disloyalty : yet, if to-night 

She venture forth again to meet this stranger, 

This dark, unknown destroyer of my peace 



No more ! for now she comes, with sweetest wiles 
To twine about my heart ; and make it doubt 
If, in a form where heav'nly beauty reigns, 
Aught but the purest virtue can inhabit ! 

SCENE VIII. 

Fitzormond, Lady Fitzormond, Child. 

* 
fiiz. Whence comes Melania ? Where has she been 

wangling > 

Lady. We have been ranging through the woods to 

seek thee : 

Why dost thou leave us thus, unkind Fitzormond } 

. Art thou so late return'd to thy fond wife $ 

To thy glad home 5 to this delighted cherub 5 

And yet so quickly weary of our love, — 

Our joy to see thee ? 

Fitz. (Aside.) Let me, if I can, 

Play the dissembler, even as herself ! 

(Aloud.) Nay, my Melania, do not doubt my love. 

It ever lives ! It warms this faithful breast 

With all a husband's, all a father's fondness. 

Believe, what I experience is no feign'd, 



41 



30 fttzormond ; or, Ad IL 

No artful passion -, but the genuine flame, 
The sacred ardour of unfading love, 
Inspired by thee, and offspring of thy virtues ! 

Lady. How precious is this kindness to my soul f 
Oh ! my Fitzormond ! it revives, the sense 
Of joy, long dead within my drooping heart ! 
Ah ! could'st thou know the rapture it inspires, 
Thou ne'er wouldst leave me, more, a prey to grief I 

Fitz. Oh dear deceit ! oh flattering words of love I 
(Aside.) But now I'll put their meaning to the test. 
(Aloud.) And deem*st thou 1 again would leave thy side; 
For all the honours in my sov 'reign's gift ? 
No, dear Melania: henceforth, when the duties 
I owe my country, force me to resign 
Fitzormond's peaceful shades, thy tenderness, — 
Thy love, shall cheer my dreary way ; again 
Thou shalt not pine in solitude and grief. 

Lady* Heav'n bless thee, ever, for those soothing 
words, 
My generous Fitzormond ! Come, my child; 
And twine thy little arms around his neck, 
To thank thy father for this promis'd blessing. 
Indeed your words have filTd me with a joy [To Fit*. 
I cannot e'er express ; my gratitude 
For this indulgence shall be like your goodness ; 
And own no limits ! 

Fitz. (Aside.) She can ne'er be guilty; 
I'll not believe it. (Aloud.) Dearest love, thy hand. 
We'll seek the castle, for the banquet waits. 
Give me thy hand, my child. Be blest this day> 



Scene VIII. cherished resentment. 31 

Which sees me thus restor'd to all I love !— 

While others seek for riches or renown, 

Yet find no pleasures they can call their own ; 

Be't still my fortune, wheresoe'er 1 roam, 

To find my real happiness— at home \ [Exeunt. 



END OP ACT THE SECOND. 



ACT IIL 



The Forest ; Night. 

Enter Charlamokt and Lad;/ Fitzokmond. 

Lady. The trees are dropping -with unwholesome 
dewij 
And the stow bat wings to his ivy*d nest. 
Now, Charlomont, begin the tale of woe* 
Whose uu-nne'd horrors have appall'd my soul. 

Char. Lo ! the wan moon, dismay'd, has hid in clouds 
Her pallid face, reluctant to behold me ! 
The glittering starry host refuse their beams, 
Thdr cheering beams, to illume th" uncertain path 
Of such a wretch as I. Now, my Melania, 
Art thou prepar'd to hear the dread narration 
Of all thy brother's miseries, all his crimes ? 

Lady. His crimes! Ah me! what has my brother 
done? 

Char. Nay, nay, when thou hast heard the fearful 
truth, 
Thou ne'er wilt own me for thy brother more. 
That term shall bring reproach and shame upon thee; 






Scene I. chbrishbd rbssotmbkt. 33 

And thou eternal infamy shalt see 

Link'd with the name, to stigmatize thy race ! 

Lady. Speak, speak! this dire suspense is tenfold 
anguish. 
Wherefore should 1 disown my brother > 

Char, (wildly.) Hah! 
Dost thou not know me for a murderer ? 
Nay, is not villain in each feature written 
Of this accursed face ? Are not these hands 
Imbrued in blood,— the blood of guileless innocence I 

Lady. Oh, heav'n ! 

Char. And wilt thou own me for a brother ? 
No, rather leave me to the fate I merit,— 
To all the pangs of fruitless, late remorse : 
Or if thou needs wilt stay, — stay here to curse me ! 
Yet, in mute wonder, now .prepare to hear 
What everlasting silence must conceal. 
A tale too dreadful for the ear of day, 
And best breath'd forth, amid the glooms of night. 
List then, Melania. Ere. inglorious flight 
Urg'd me, for safety, far .from aH I lov'd, , 
Tl>ou know'st I fought ; yes, with thy husband fought, 
And left, him, as 1 deem'd, bereft of Hfe. . ■ 
Our cause of quarrel this ; — Fitzormond look'd . 
With the proud eye of arrogant contempt, 
On one he, falsely, term'd Hibernia's foe ! 
For *mid the civil broils that tore our land, 
'Twas mine to join the cause of liberty. : 
'T was mine ( with pride I own, it) to lead forth 
Those daring champions of our country's freedom, 

P 



'y* • .* 



84 mzoftMOND ; o», Act 117. 

Who fought on Wexford's plains, and greatly fell, 
Defending rights which God and nature gave ! 
Frond boast ! which yet has pow'r to fire my soul, 
And renovate the hero's ardours hereJ 

{Striking Us heart. 
Vain boast, alas ! too soon was Charlamont, 
By fetal chance of war, Fitzonnond's captive. 
Yet, mid the dreary hours of sad confinement, 
Fair Annabel would cheer my prison's glooms > 
The sister of Fitzormond, form'd to win, 
By matchless softness, *ev*n the savage heart; 
With pity mark'd my now inglorious state, 
And prais'd the valour of my young achievements. 
Blooming with youthful loveliness and grace, 
She seem'd a heav'nly messenger of bliss ! 
Could I do less than love her ? Nay, Melania, 
The heart she gave, 'twas luxury to hold, 
(The heart she gave, 'twas agony to lose I) 
The heart she gave was more than the reward 
Of all that dauntless valour could achieve, 
Or constancy could suffer : 'twas, indeed, 
A commutation sweet for liberty ! 
Yet, through her means, ev'n that was mine again. 
Ah ! fatal freedom ! ill exchanged for bondage ! 
We fled together from Fitzonnond's power ;— 
We fled, and were pursued. Yes, my Melania ; 
Ere Heaven's sacred sanction could be lent 
To our disastrous loves, Fitzormond came— 
He came to force her from me, — Oh ! — for breath, 
For breath to tell the rest ! 



Scene L cherished resentmbnt. 35 

Lady. Oh, Charlamont! 
My listening soul hangs eager on thy accents, 
And longs, yet dreads to hear ! 

Char. My sins deserve 
That I should have this bitter tale to tell : 
Yea, more, that I should have to tell it thee ! 
But what, my gentle sister, have been thine ; 
And how hast thou deserv'd to hear it told ? 

Lady, Proceed, and if thou canst, relate it quickly; 
For mine exhausted spirits warn me hence, 
Lest, ere 'tis ended, they should wholly fail me. 

Char. I will be brief . In flam' d with rage, he sought, 
Fitzormond sought, and found us. In that hour, 
For ever curs'd, when anger undisguised, \ 

Disdain, reproaches mutual, pride, revenge, 
And deadly hatred urg*d us,— -in that hour 
We fought :-*-a bloody and remorseless conflict ! 
For Annabel, the tender Annabel, 
Eager to save, and screaming to restrain us, 
Rush'd in, and ran between our driving swords!— 
Mine pierc'd her ! — Oh ! be calm, my swelling heart, 
Till I have told— oh ! yet one pause for grief, 
For love, and — murder'd Annabel! 

Lady. (Starting.) She died? 

Char. Yes, as the saint she liv'd : with pray'rs for 
both, 
Her pure soul left its beauteous tenement. 
Yet has black calumny aspers'd her fame, 
Because she fled, and ere the holy altar 
Could make us one, breath'd forth her spotless soul. 

d 2 



36 FITZORMOND ; OR, Act llli 

And curst Fitzormond countenanced the slander, 
Because she fled with me !— with Charlamont, 
His foe confest, the daring son of freedom ! — 
Conceive what agonies of soul were mine, 
When I beheld her at my feet expire ! 
Conceive the whirlwind of my passions then, — 
The fury of my vengeance on Fitzormond ! 
Wild with new griefs, with added spurs to wrath, 
1 flew a raging lion on my foe ! 
Despair lent vigour to my strong-nerv'd arm : 
I slew him, as I thought, and joy'd to think it ! — 
Ah ! why had I not, rather, slain myself? 

Lady. Oh day of woe ! day of transcendent horror t 

Char. 'Twas on that day I left my native isle : 
My flight allow'd no time for seeing thee. 
Solely I penn'd three hasty lines to her, — 
The honour* d parent whom I thus had sham'd, 
To warn her from a country where her name, 
Rever'd till then, was grown a general mark 
For scorn to smile, and obloquy to hoot at ! 
Further, I pray'd her never to enquire 
The fate of him whom once she call'd her son ; 
Besought her, as she valued bliss for thee, 
Th* exalted name of Charlamont to quit, 
For one less known, less honour'd, — less disgrac'd. 

Lady. Yes, thy mysterious mandate was obey'd : 
She left her country, friends, and family $ 
Exchanged her proud, her honourable name ; 
Sought Albion's shores, and died ? ' 

Char. Oh! grief of heart ! 



Scene I. cherished resentmknt. 37 

My mother ! and was this the recompense 
Of all thy kind, indulgent cares for me ? 

Lady. Thou wast her only son ; when she had lost 
thee, 
Life lost its charms, and hope itself was dead. 

Char. Oh Charlamont ! — detested parricide !— 
But I must think no more ! — Melania, say, 
What was thy fate when thus an orphan left, 
By aH deserted, in a foreign land ? 
Who dried the tear of sorrow on thy cheek ? 
Who guarded thee from all surrounding ills ? 
Who stood my sister's friend ? [Taking her hand. 

Lady. Fitzormond. 

Char. {Abruptly dropping her hand. ) He ? 

Lady. Yes, and my dying mother's voice approved 
him. 
Then start not at a name so justly lov'd. 

Chan {Disdainfully.) I hate the name. 

Lady. Believe me, thou dost wrong him. 
And thou wilt own thy judgment too severe, 
When thou shalt learn with what fond, filial care, 
He watch'd thy dying parent's pillow. Oh ! 
In friendship to my mother, love to me, 
He was the son, the brother we had lost ! 

Char. {Aside.) Another deep, yet undesign'd re- 
proach! 

Lady. Once, and but once, he mention'd his dead 
sister ; 
But check'd himself, as if the subject pain'd him; 
And we forbore to press it. 



33 FITZORMOND ; OR, Act III. 

Char. {Abstractedly,) Ye did well.— 
Tended upon her death-bed by my foe ! 
Oh ! pangs unfelt before ! Severe decree 
Of angry Heav'n to punish and confound me ! 
Fitzormond triumphs in fulfilling duties 
Which nature made it mine to have perform* d ! 
Relentless Fate, yet art thou satiated, 
Or hast thou still fresh chastisement in store ? 

Xady. (Looking out.) My Charlamont, I fear— 

Char. What fears my sister 1 

Lady. Methought, but now, I heard approaching 
steps. 

Char. Fear nothing : I will guard thee with my life. 

Lady. Oh ! I am terror all, and wild alarm ! 
My brother — 

Char. I conjure thee, name me not. 

Lady. Not name thee ? Think, oh think ! should I 
be found 
At this late hour conversing with a stranger,— 
A nameless stranger too, in this lone wood,—* 
What fatal stains would fix upon my name ! 

SCENE II. 

£arfyFlTZORMOND,CHARLAMONT,FlTZORMONDfeAlW, 

Char. Fly then, and leave me : one embrace, and part. 

Lady. I'm lost for ever! Fear, and dreaded shame, 
Which urge my absence, still oppose my flight. 
My limbs refuse their aid ; my sorrowing heart 
Aches thus to leave thee— 



Scene II. charishbd bssbnthbnt. 30 

Fitz. Art thou, then, so fond ? 

Lady. Oh ! 'tis my husband's voice ! 

Fitz. (Advancing.) No, treacherous woman ! 
No more thy husband, but thy direst foe ; 
I bring hot vengeance on my dagger's point, 
And thus — [Attempts to strike her ; she shrieks* 

Lady. Oh ! 

Char. (Interposing.) Hold, dark villain ! nor presume 
With impious hand to strike that lady's heart, 
The seat of virtues thou canst never reach. 

Fitz. Who talks of Virtue with so loud a tongue, 
Yet dares infringe a husband's sacred rights ? 
Who meets my wife, here, at the midnight hour, 
Yet thunders villain in Fitzormond's ears ? 

Char. Ev'n 1 $ and boldly I'll proclaim myself 
No foe of virtue, though no friend of thine. 

Fitz. Too well I know thee none, thou base betrayer ! 
I recognise thy voice ; and, if strong guilt 
Eorbid not the avowal, speak thy name. 

Char. 'Twould nought avail thee. Be thou satisfied, 
Thy lady's innocent. 

Lady. O speak thy name ; 
Or let me speak it, for my vindication ! 

Fitz. What vindication hop'st thou for thyself, 
Perfidious trait'ress ! — Hence, with thy vile paramour; 
And ne'er approach me more ! 

Lady. He is my brother ! 

Fitz. Oh ! wretched artifice to screen deep guilt ! 
Invention mean as false ! Peace, frail one, peace ! 
Nor dream thy frauds shall e'er again deceive me. 



40 mzMMottD; or, Act III. 



Char, Worthless defamer of thy wife's fur name,— 
Wanton destroyer of thine own soul's peace, 
Restrain thy wrath. — By Heav'n, she teUs thee true.— 
I am her brother ! 

FUz. She has none, impostor ! 
Think'st thou this base, this coward subterfuge, 
Shall serve t' appease an injur*d husband's wrath ?— 
Yet, ere my thirsty weapon drinks thy blood, 
Tell me thy name, that I may know my foe ! 

Char. Now, by th* effulgent sun that soon shall rise 
To gild yon eastern hills, while I nave power 
To hide it from thee, thou shalt never know it! 

Fitz. Is then thy birth so low, and so degraded, 
So close allied to shame, thou dar'st not own it ? 
Go, sordid wretch, contemptible as base ! 
Fitzormond will not stain his righteous sword, 
The sacred champion of Hibernia's laws, 
With blood so vile, so infamous as thine! 

Char. Would it were so ! Would that my state had 
been 
So vile, that slander's self could scarce degrade, 
So low, that foul disgrace could ne'er befal it ! 
But learn, proud peer, that such was not my fortune. 
I had a name which I with pride avow'd, 
Which all with reverence heard ; but now 'tis lost) 
For I have sunk it in sepulchral night, 
And bade eternal silence rest upon it 



Scene HI. chbrishkd rksjsntmknt. 41 



SCENE III. 

Fitzormond, Charlamont, Lady Fitzormond, Jos- 

celine, with a light. 

Jos. Pardon, my lord, the fond officious zeal 
With which I have presuoTd to follow you : 
The noise I heard while waiting in the wood, 
Awaken'd apprehensions for your safety,— 

Fitz. Give me thy light ! Now, by the pow*rs above, 
I'll know my enemy ! [Holds the light to Charlamont. 

Hah! Charlamont! — 
Base and detested rebel, is it thou ? 

Cfiar. (Half draining, and then sheathing his sword.) 
Ev'n so 5 for, as the husband of my sister, 
Fitzormond may insult me thus, — and live. 

Fitz. Scourge of my life ! do I behold thee here ) 
Say, hell-born traitor, was it not enough 
My sister fell the victim of thy treachery ? 
Could not her death appease thy vengeful hate,— 
But must thou wound me in a dearer part, 
Ev'n in the honour of the wife I love } 

Char. Forbear with foul and undeserv'd reproach 
To taint the memory of the maid I lov'd. 
By Heav*n, her soul was purity itself; 
Nor shall the wretch exist who dares traduce her ! 
As for my sister there, the drifting snow 
That flies by night o'er the untrodden waste, 
Bears not a heart of more unsullied whiteness. 
Golconda's mines contain no gem more pure, 



M, As III, 

More perfect tk™ Wr fattk : Ac »rw or*4 
Bat wbe* (be garve her fpodem kzad ■> Okee ! 

/Sis. iMalling villain, tana ihah pas w doe ! 

Char, Come on lik^u. I ua weary of erinence, 
A nd gladl 7 than resign the fife 1 bate : 
It is not worth defending. 

Good old nan, [To Jotctlrme. 

Haste with thy lady hence: it is ant meet, 
Her eye* be ahoclt'd by tach * teeae a* ibis. 

iAm. Lady, will 't plaM yoo go ? 

larfy. How i go, and leave 
My brother tbtu defencdeM, here, to periab,? 
Oh I never, never ! — Spare my brother's fife, [Kmedt. 
FltTormond, I conjure thee, an my knee* ! 

Fit*. Dost thoa then plead for my sworn enemy. 
And term th' accursed Cbarlamont thy brother I 
Take, rather, the reward at all thy crimes. 
The thanks thou hut deserv'd from him Ihou'st wrong J . 
[Attempts to flab her. 

Ckar. ( Interposing, wounds him with (he poniard he 
had wetted from hit hand.) 
Monster I I'll save thy soul one crime at least, 
And npnre thee the remorse of having kill'd her. 
Die— by my hand I 

Fit*. (Sinks down.) Too sure I feel the blow I 
Now, Chnrlnmonti rebellion's boastful son. 
And dnrk anuuuln,— art thou satisfied? 

Lady. Oh I Chnrlamont, what fury prompted thee 
To do thlt deed of unexampled horror ? 

CAtr. Thou know'at thy' safety only could, my sister. 



Scene III. cherished resentment. 43 

Lady J What was my safety, when compar'd with his \ 
Rash brother, why didst thou attempt to save me ? 
Had I but died by my Fitzormond*s hand, 
I had been happy. — Oh ! thou hast undone me ! 
My dear, my murder'd lord) oh ! raise thine eyes, 
And give thy lost Melania but one look 
That may speak pardon to her tortur'd heart ! 
I have not wrong'd thee : Charlamont himself 
Forbade me e'er to name him as my brother*—- 
O fatal caution 1 — fatally obey'd ! 

Fitz. Does she I sought to murder, mourn for me ? 

Lady. Ah ! Heav'n bear witness to the pangs I feel 
To see thee thus, my husband ! — Oh 1 my brother, 
Behold thy work ! 

Jo4. Oh, 'tis a bloody deed ! 
My honour'd lord — yet he perhaps may live. 

Lady. Oh ! let us haste to bear him gently hence* 

Fitz. Nay, let me die ev*n here. There is no pow'r 
In art or nature to redeem my life. 
Mourn not, Melania, that my hour is come : 
Heav'n has, in mercy, snatch'd me from the earth 
To save my soul from the tremendous crime 
Of giving death to thee. — Canst thou forgive 
That I believ'd thee guilty ?— 

Lady. Oh, my husband !— 
Tears choke my utterance — that I do forgive thee, 
This fond embrace shall testify. Ah, wherefore, 
With fatal rashness, wak'd I thy suspicions ? 

Char. Wherefore, but through my means } O Char- 
lamont! 




Pale Dewtb mhv Jus TJetiM M» * wmcn, 

Conacwaa, 1m> fane, bow detail he ha*- m i u r ' ri 

Tfcnr, Md thy beert'f beat im'resffi, plead fir pukoi? 

Fit*. Thnii'Mnr 'li Mrl w H i'iTiti l ini ii w j b — i l 

Omr. FnMMMi, why,— why wot- w ever far • 

fite. MfiliM — Hear a jat«ca thee,— and in duid' 



! [D 

LWy He.g. 

JW. <«/*»-.. 
My boMMf'd— MMrder'4 starter ! wast dfton spar'd 
By tkerndehasMl of all-destroying war, 
To fsU, inglorians, in thine own domain, 
Er'n at the moment when thy joys seeni'd fall ? 
Sad, piteoux sight ! — My lady sinking, too, 
Beneath the weight at grief !— How shall I act ? 
How draw her from this state of death-like aorrow ! 
Stranger, — Lord Cbarlamont — 

Char. (itartimg). What woiildst thou of me ? 

Jot. Ewune me, lord ; behold my lady faints. 

Char. Would st thou bring consolation to m"y sister. 
Haste, seek her child : her dear-lor'd infant's voice. 
Perhaps, may rouse the latent powers of sense, 




Scene TV. cherished resentment. 45 

And waken all the mother in her heart. 
I'll stay to guard her. 

Jos. I obey. [Exit, leaving the light. 

SCENE IV. 

w * 

Lady Fitzormond insensible, near the corpse o/'Fitz- 

OKMOND, CHARLAMONT. 

Char. Ah wherefore 
Have I no source of consolation left ? — 
Because I have deserv'd none ! — Oh, Melania! 
Pale, pale thou liest as life itself were flown-— ' 
Thy lips have livid death impress' d upon them ; - . 
An icy coldness has benumb* d thy veins ;— 

[Taking her hand. 
And pow'rless nature yields to mighty grief!— 
Shall this be so ?— and art thou gone, my sister? 
And diest thou bv the: hand of Charlamont ? 
Yea, thou dost die — I lose thee; and for ever ! 
Oh ! for one fresh, reviving breeze from Heav'n, 
Of pow'r to tell me, my Melania lives ! 
Hah ! — let me think ! — yet, water may restore her. — 
Grey twilight tinges yonder eastern hills, 
And soon the sun will mount th' illumin'd skies : 
Could I but find the stream that skirts the wood- 
Thrice blessed orb ! [Looking out. 

Thanks to thy dawning beams, 
I see it now ! — Melania, yet I'll save thee I [Exit. 



46 FITZORMOND J OR, Act lit* 

SCENE V. 

The sum rites. 

Manet Lady Fitzormond near the body of Fitzor- 
mond : after a pause, she raises herself on her hands, 
looking around her with astonishment and terror* 

Lady. Where am 1? What strange visions throng 
my mind, 
And strike upon my agonizing brain ? 
What is this place ? And whence the fearful images 
That rise, in gloomy retrospect, to view ? 
Are not impressions horrible as these, 
The wild precursors of impending phrenzy ? 
Ob, let me check that thought ! — I have but dream'd;— 
But oh, ye pow'rs ! what ghastly dreams were mine ! 
Methought I saw the corse of my Fitzormond !— 
Methought I saw — Oh ! Sight of blasting horror ! 
And art thou here again ? 

[Seeing the corpse, she screams, and sinks upon it* 

SCENE VI. 
Re-enter Charlamont, with water in his hat. 

Char. Now, my lov'd sister, 
Once to behold thee, once to hear thee speak,*— 
And then, to take an everlasting leave— 

Lady (starting). Who comes ?— Where's Charlamont I 

Char. High heav'n be prais'd ! 
She lives, she speaks,— and speaks of Charlamont ! 



Scene VI. cherished hbskntment. 47 

Here, here behold thy brother, my Melania, 
A supplicant for pardon. 

Lady (points to the body) . Look on this ! 

Char, Oh, fly far hence, Melania ! shun this scene ! 

Lady. This is my pillow of eternal rest : 
Sorrow, and solitude, and I dwell here ; 
And what can bring thee near us ? Hie thee hence ! 
This spot is sacred to despair alone. 

Char. Then the despair / prove, should mark it mine. 
Dost thou refuse the partnership of sorrow 
To thy unhappy brother, my Melania ? 

Lady* Have I a brother ? 

Char. Cruel, cruel question ! 
Yet, let me not repine, I have deserv'd it 1 
Melania casts her brother off,— for ever ! 

Lady.' Oh, it had slipped my mind : I have a brother; 
True 5 and I wear his picture in my breast, 
That I may wash it with eternal tears. 
Oh ! that I should forget I had a brother !— 
But thou, beware lest he should find thee here ; [ Wildly. 
For know, his hands are steep'd in human gore -, 
And he will take thy life ! 

Char* What means my sister ? 

Lady (with vehemence) . Away! — if Charlamont 
should find thee here — 
But mark me ! — do not let him know I warn'd thee j 
For then, he'll murder me !— Hah ! I should know thee ! 
Art thou not Charlamont himself ? — Alas ! 
My wand'ring senses ever thus deceive me ; 
For as I gaz'd this moment on thy face, 
I took thee for my brother ! Thou wilt smile ; 



48 TITZORMOND ; OR, Act IIL 

But 1 could weep to think it. Yet, forgive me : 
I know not what I say, nor where I am ; 
For sorrow weighs so heavy on my heart, 
That Memory is driven from her seat * 
Twill all be over soon. — ' 

Char. Oh, agony ! 

Lady. Nay, ask me not who kilPd him ; 'tis a secret 
That I must hide for ever from the world $ 
But, if thou wilt, I am content to die,— 
To die, and hide it, ever, in my breast. 
Yet something, still, I have to say to thee,-* 
Something that presses here, — upon my heart — 
For which, indeed, alone 1 wish to live. 
I fain would ask of thee— but 'tis forgotten I 
I now have lost all pow*r of recollection ; 
And it is gone — Oh \ my perplexed brain ! 

Char. My sister, can I see thee thus, and live ? 
Oh, Reason ! struggle yet to keep thy throne 
Within my tortur'd mind I Flow, stream of agony y 
Flow — tears of blood ! 

Lady. Stranger, where is my child ?— 
How ? dead ? — and have they murdered thee, my babe! 
Yea, and thy father too ! [Sinks on the body. 

Char. He lives, my sister ! 
Wherefore thus tardy, Josceline? [Looking out anxiously. 

Lady (rising, and looking on all sides). Oh, where ? 
Where $— where ? Thou canst not point my infant out? 
Then leave me.— -He's no more ! 

Char. O my Melania ! 
How shall I banish these ungrounded fears ? 

Lady. Shew me his tomb, and I will sit beside it. 



Scene VII. CHERISHED RESENTMENT. 49 

Lead me to where his little Tiead has rest ! 
Do not distrust me ': 111 be calm, and still, 
And mute as Silence* self. — I'll go with thee 5 
And thou shalt point me out the sacred spot : 
I'll sit and weep beside it->— strewing, still, 
Fresh-gatherM flow'rs upon his early grave. 
They'll all be inoisten'd by a mother's tears. 
But Til be careful too,— oh ! how 111 watch, 
That harm shall ne'er approach my infant more ! 
Gome, then. — Nay, nay, His not for thee to weep!-* 
Sorrow, and pain, and agony, are mine ! 
Thou hast no claim to them 5 — thou ne'er hast known 
What 'tis to feel the deadliest wound, inflicted 
Ev'n on the tend'rest fibres of thy heart] 

SCENE VII. 

Enter Josceline with the Child, Charlamont runs 
to meet them, and brings the Cm up 4o Lady Frrz- 

OBMOND. v 

Char. (With momentary exultation J. Oh, lift thy lan- 
guid eyes, and bless me still 1 
v Lady (Looking up, and embracing the Child). And art 
^ thou here, my all of life that's left ? 

Has Heav'n restor'd thee to my mourning heart ? 
Jos. Yes, lady j Heav'n, in pity to your griefs, 
Has sent your child to save you from despair.' 
Lady. I thought thee dead, my boy 5 and lo ! I clasp 
thee! v 

To God be alLth6 praise ! {Kneels. 



SO F1T8QRM0N0 } OR, Act III. 

Char. Her wand'ring sense 
Returns : — O God ! 1 praise— I thaaL tfceetooT 
Lady (Rising hastily). Come thou, my heart's sole 
consolation! Come! 
We from this dark abode of death must fly y 
Lest, brooding o'er the horrors of this night* 
Perpetual Madness fix her dwelling here— 

[Putting her hand to her forehead, 

Jos. Fly, lady, fly : this is no scene for you : 
I'll stay to guard my honour'd lord's remains. 
Lady. How shall I bid those sad remains fareweH ? 

(Goes to the corpse o/Titzormond, kneels, and 
takes one of the hands f which she kisses vrith fer- 
vent affection. After a short pause;) 

Though thou, my life, my bosom's lord, be thus 
Extended cold in death ; — oh ! did I dare, 
Still on thy bloodless features would I gaze, 
Till sight grew dim, and sense itself decayed. 
But— -precious pledge of my lost partner's love J— 
This innocent child remains ; and I for him 
Must think, must act, and must submit — Farewell ! 

[In a faltering voice. 

Char. (FoUovoing her). Yet, if the sight of one so- 
criminal 
Blast not thy view, — turn, oh Melania ! turn, 
And look on Charlamont 1 

Lady. What would my brother ? 

Char, One last embrace, that may assure my soul,— 
My parting soul, — thou dost not hate my memory. 



Scene VII. cherished ajbsebotmbnt. 51 

Lady. Yes, this embrace I give j but why the last ? 
If thou remain, nose will ftetray thee here. 

Char. My sister, I shall never hear thy voice, 
Never behold thee more ! 

Lady. Oh, Charlamont ! 
My heart acquits thee of deliberate ill, 
And deems thee luckless, more than criminal : 
Else should 1 shrink in horror from thine arms, 
As I were an accomplice in misdeeds. 
Be reconciTd then, to thyself. Thy sister. 
Without a crime, may shelter and protect thee. 

Char, Thy goodness with my ill contrasted so, 
Shews it but more atrocious. Oh, farewell ! 
For I must hence — 

Lady. But whither* ) 

Char. Ask not that : 
1 scarcely know, myself, my destination ; 
But thou wilt know it soon. 

Lady. Why must we part Y 

Chan We must for ever part j~but not in wrath > 

Lady. Oh ! not in wrath ! No ; may the God of Mercy 
Forgive, as I do, all your errors here ! 

Char. Farewell, Melania — oh ! farewell for ever ! 
[Exit Lady, voilh the Child. Char, follows her 
some steps, then sinks on the earths 



E2 



52 • FITZORMONDj OR, Act HI* 

■ « 

SCENE VIII. and tost, 
Joscelinb, Charlamont near the body o/Titzor&ton'd, 

Jos. No, I can ne'er enough lament the rashness 
Of my mistaken zeal to serve my lord ! 
Nor can I e'er to his sad shade atone 
The injuries my folly has brought on him ! 
Why did I kindle in his noble breast 
The heart-consuming fire of jealousy} 
Lo ! there he lies — lies weltering in his blood, 
The victim of my well-meant aim to serve him ! 
K But what avail these fruitless self-reproaches ? 
Let me, at least, assist this wretched youth 
T' escape the fate that must await him here. 

[Approaching Char. 
Lord Charlamont, the day advances fast. 
Rise, I beseech thee ; fly this blood-stain'd spot ; 
For soon th' events of this detested night 
Will all be blaz'd abroad. If thou'rt discover'd, 
Thou know'st offended justice asks thy life — 

Char. Who calls me from the precincts of the tomb 
To warn from justice, and to prate of life? 
Life is my bitterest foe. — Is't thou, old man ? 
Why dost thou break the silence of the dead } 

Jos. I would persuade thee to preserve thy life 
By flight : if thou remainest here, thou'rt lost. 

Char. Am I not lost to happiness already ? 
And wouldst thou have me live to misery ? 
Where is my sister ? Ah ! she's gone for ever ! 



Scene Fill, cherished resentment. £3 

She leaves me to the {uries that surround me! 
No parting look she gave, nor seem'd to know 
That hell and Charlamont still Uoger'd here ! 

Jos. Pardon me, lord ; she left you with regret, 
And pray'd for HeavVs forgiveness of your sins. 

Char. How? did she pray for him who stabb'd her 
peace? 
Oh I save me from that thought, though by distraction ! 
But no, it will not be ! Yet, deep Remorse 
Has jn my bosom fix'd iris iron fangs, 
And plac'd this fearful sight before mine eyes, 

[Pointing to the corpse. 
To speak confusion to my guilty soul ! 
And dire Despair shall halloo in mine ears 
Melania's name : yea, haunt me with the shade 
Of injur'd Annabel. — Her image points 
The deep* rate remedy for desp'rate ills. 

[ Takes the dagger from the corpse 
This is the gift which pitying Phrenzy offers 
To the desponding child of misery. 
Oh ! *tis a gift which Reason might accept, 
Could Reason e'er exist with griefs. like mine! 
Now, Justice, , summon— Punishment, await me I 
I scorn* add thus do I escape your power ! 

[Stabs himself. 

Jos. (Advancing from the back scene). Hold thy mis- 
guided hand ! — Unhappy youth I 
What hast thou done > 

Char. Away, and let me die ! 
Go, tell Melania that I have aveng'd her.— 
Oh! what a pang was that! — Fitzormond, say,— 



54 fTTZORMOND. Ad III. 

Invet'rate foe,— now, art thou reconcil'd; 

And shall we be at peace? Shall the cold tomb 

Now close, for ever, on our deadly hate ? 

And thou, Melania, — sister of my lore ! 

Perhaps, when time has soften'd thine affliction, 

Thou ma/st remember, I was once thy brother, 

And once deserv'd the name. Now, Annabel,— 

Fitzormond, now, I come. Oh ! pardon, Heaven ! 

That I have liv'd the scourge of all I love. 

And died, as I do now — Oh !— [DUi» 

Jos. IU-starr' d youth ! 
In that last deep-drawn sigh his spirit fled ! 
Is this the end of every sanguine hope 
His mother cherish' d for her fev'rite child ) 
Unhappy mother, cruelly deceived! 
She saw not that his life would prove her curse ; 
But still with blind indulgence nurs'd the seeds 
Of baleful passions, which in early youth 
Inflam'd his mind, and threaten'd future woe. 

Behold th* impetuous tide of wrathful blood, 
Unchecked in youth by her maternal care, 
In age mature boils up with foaming flood, 
Tp whelm him deep in ruin and despair, 
And bid his hapless race in all his mis'ries share ! 

THE CURTAIN DEOPS. 



?4 ' ■ c-rp 



MALEK ADHEL; 



THE 



tampion of $( ®tt#tmu 



(loo - / «V) 



'•3 



MALEK ADHEL; 



THE 



CHAMPION OF THE CRESCENT. 



A TRAGIC DRAMA. 



In Zfctt ftct*« 



Adapted for representation from the celebrated Crusade* 
Romance ofMathilde, by Madame Cottin. 



MOST RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED, 
BY PERMISSION, 
TO HER GRACE 

THE DOWAGER DUCHESS OF NORTHUMBERLAND. 



DRAMATIS PERSONS. 



MEN. 



SARACENS. 

Saladik the Great, Sultan of Egypt. 

Malek. Adhel, his Brother, Governor of Cesarea. 

Kaled, Friend of Malek Adhel. 

CHRISTIANS. 

Lusignan, King of Jerusalem, dethroned by the Sara- 
cens. 
Anselm, Archbishop of Tyre. 
Demas, Lusignan's Esquire, formerly a Mussulman. 
Guards. 

WOMEN. 

Matilda, Sister of Richard Cceur de Lion, King of 

England. 
Herminia, a lady attending on the Princess Matilda. 



The Scene ties in and near the city of Cesarea, in Palestine. 



PROLOGUE, 

AS SPOKEN AT THE REPRESENTATION, 



In days remote, and surely unlike these, 

When nought hut feats of chivalry could please ; 

When every trusty 'squire, and dauntless knight, 

Rush'd eager forth, accoutred for the fight -, 

Hermits -and priests with princes dar'd combine 

T* avenge the wrongs of hallow* d Palestine. 

Then, Cceur de Lion left these favoured coasts 

To rescue Sion from the Arab hosts j 

And his fair sister, as our records sing, 

Pursued the fortunes of th' advent*rous king.— 

The royal pilgrim left her native home 

To seek the city of the Holy Tomb, 

Where, by the arms of Saracens subdued, 

The Christians groan'd in abject servitude. 

Yet vainly does she hope to see them freed !— 

To fears for them, fears for herself succeed* 

The maid, a captive now, consigned to grief, 

Mourns 5a the palace of an Arab Chief. 

(The same whose conquering arm Lusignan own'd j 

Judea's sceptred ruler, now dethron'd.) 

Soon.by her tears, her youth, her beauty movM, 

The mighty victor saw, and ownM he lov'd„ 



58 PROLOGUE. 

Strange as it seems, the Infidel possest 

A heart with every virtue's stamp imprest -, 

A martial spirit, an exalted mind, 

By glory kindled, and by love refin'd; 

His various acts his various merits prove ; 

And she, who sigh'd for freedom— sighs for love* 

Damsels, — forbear our heroine to blame : 
For who among you had not done the same ) 

But now, Devotion's dictates interpose, 
And doom the Cross and Crescent endless foes. 
Duty, alone, the princely pair divides ; 
For ah ! their diff 'ring faith their mutual passion chides! 
At length to Carmel's convent walls, the maid 
Ev'n by her generous lover is convey'd. 
There, while the lovely novice seeks the veil, 
And Richard's warriors Ascalon assail, 
To the enamour* d chief a tale is brought, 
(Whereby to jealous rage his soul is wrought,) 
That bold Lusignan had presum'd t' invade 
The sacred dwelling of the heav'nly maid ; 
Aiming by stealth, by marriage rites profane, 
And impious force, her royal hand t' obtain. 
The prince with eager speed the city leaves, 
The convent reaches, and the fair retrieves $ 
While subterranean paths the lovers' flight 
Conceal,— and darkness of the favouring night. 
Emerging now, on Cesarea's plain, 
The Chief to martial duties hastes again.— 
But, soft !— -I must not 'peach /—What next befiel, 
The folks behind the curtain soon will tell. 



PROLOGUE. 59 

Yet, ere I bid adieu, one little word 
In our behalf, from me may sure be heard : 
For though our humble writer holds no claim 
By free translation to an author's name, 
Yet, if this tribute your approval meet, 
Each aim of her ambition is complete. 
Alike our little acting troop, 'tis known, 
Centre their hopes and fears in You alone. 
No Jordan bids you smile, no Siddons here 
Appals the heart, or calls th' obedient tear ; 
No magnet here the nightly audience draws, 
Or claims the thund'ring peals of just applause. 
A simple group alone, some short, — some tall,— 
Appears to-night : — alarm'd, unpractis'd, all. 
But you with kindness will our efforts hail ; 
Be pleas'd where we succeed, and pardon where we foil. 



t*1 



MALEK ADHEL, 



ACT L 

SCENE I. 

The Country near Cesarea, mild and rocky. 
Enter Kaled and Hermixi a, from a Cave. 

Kaled. Thus far, through toilsome paths we've held 
our way 5 
And now, to Cesarea nigh at hand, 
Here, lady, let us wait awhile, and rest ; 
Till mine illustrious chieftain shall rejoin us 
With his fair Christian captive. 

Her. Poor Matilda ! 
Why was she hurried from her convent walls 
By your inhuman, sacrilegious hands ? 

KaL Call them not such* Our purpose was to save 
her. 
Think'st thou our Sultan's brother, Malek Adhel, 
Lion of battles nam'd, for great exploits, 
And Thunderbolt of war, who loves your Princes? 



64 MALK&ADHKL; T : " Act I. 

Then, my Matilda, he, — that stranger youth 
Who told me that Lusignan had profan'd 
The sacred precincts of thy cloister "alls, 
To make thee his, by a forc'd union' there}— • 
That youth was an impostor ) 

Mat. Oh ! no more ! 
No doubt, a secret agent of Lusignan's, 
Sent but t* inveigle thee from Cesarean 

M. Ad. Eternal Pow'rs ! and can ye, then, permit 
That perjur'd wretches, thus, should cloak themselves 
In the bright robes of truth ? — But no $ 'tis not 
The traitors subtlety, 'tis mine own heart 
Which has misled me here. Oh ! I had been 
With equal ease, dupM by the grossest snare !— * 
When thou wast nam'd, Matilda, my fond eyes 
Grew blind to aught but thee. Thy .name,— a charm y 
A magic talisman,— betray'd my senses, 
O'ercame my prudence, and to Love alone 
Allow'd the pow'r of action. Oh ! my life ! 
A fear has cross'd me, freezing all my soul ! 
For thou mayst suffer from my fatal rashness, 
Lusignan, proud ev'n of his treachery, 
Will seek his vantage from it : Cesarea— 
That city whose defence but late I swore 
To Saladin, perhaps, ere this, is lost 5 
And I the cause — Oh Saladin ! my brother I 
How will my mad desertion seem to thee ?— 
Matilda,— princess,— now withdraw your love i 
I am unworthy of it, since to gain it 
I have betray'd my trust, betray'd my country ! 



Scene I. ck. :l ^n of the cbkscbnt. 65 

Kal. Yield not thy soul, oh! noble Malek Adhel, 
To black despair a pypey ! *Tis true, that Kaled 
When he perceiv'd^to combat it was vain, 
Obey'd thy will, and left with thee yon city ; 
Though had he, sooner, known thy wild design, 
Thou hadst alone left Cesarea's gates, 
Trampling his lifeless corse. But now, behold, 

[Pointing behind the scenes. 
Where yonder mist, arising from the vale, 
Shews thy deserted post is still thine own ! 
Great Allah saves thee. — Yet, upon the walls 
Float the proud standards of the Abassides— 

M. Ad. ( Looking out.) The Crescent too, beams still 
its golden glories 
From all our mosques and tow'rs; far to the North, 
The banners of the Cross stream to the wind $ 
And peace reposes in the Christian camp. 
Within the city too, all seems as hush'd 
As if grim war had ne'er besieg'd its walls. 

Kal. Yonder, my prince, behold the gate of Omar, 
Where hold our sentries yet their 'custom'd watch, 
Moslems proclaim'd by robes and turban'd heads. — 
Thrice noble master, I behold thee safe, 
And my heart leaps for joy ! Our holy Prophet 
Has, sure, watch'd o'er thee 5 and thy service past 
Has pleaded for the pardon of thy rashness. 

[Walks aside. 

M. Ad. Thou great and mighty Pow'r ! who hast 
preserv'd 
This cherish'd object of my every 



66 MALBK ADHfiL ; THKT Ad I. 

Whether the God by my Matilda worshipped, 
Or the divinity my fathers own'd,— 
'Whatever thy name, or Allah, or Jehovah, 
Receive my thanks, — for thou hast sav'd Matilda ! 

[To Matilda. 

Oh, my belov'd ! behold the ills prepar'd 

For me, by foemen's hands, will fall again 

On the contrivers ; and, when they shall know thee 

Safe in my palace, while I 'scape the chains 

They have prepar'd, they will be fully punish' d. 

Mat. Blest be the secret, subterranean pass 
Which has preserv'd my noble Adhel's life > 
And sav'd his fame — though it endangers mine. 

M. Ad. Still dost thou sigh, Matilda, for thy cell, 
Regretting that thou art rejoin'd to me ? 
Wilt thou not grace, with all thy purest blessings, 
The happy error which thus reunites us ? 

Mat. Oh ! do not bid me be so criminal I 
For, Adhel, I can now no more dissemble. 
My coward heart rejoices to perceive 
That my return is now impossible; 
Th' attempt would risk thy life ; and, at that pricej 
I ought not, sure, to wish it. Obstacles 
Unnumber'd rise ; and all increase my joy. — 
Oh ! Christian void of courage and of faith ! 
Thy heart, with love inflated, owns no wish 
But for a perishable good, and looks 
With terror on the path that leads to Heaven 1 

M. Ad. Joy of my life ! I cannot fear the future : 
I'm henceforth, happy ;— for I am with thee I 

[Taking ktr hand. 



IScene IL champion of thje crescent. 67 

Come; seek we now admittance to the city, 
Where soft repose and sweet refreshment, wait thee. 
Lead on, good Kaled, towards the gate of Omar*. 

[Exeunt. 

SCENE II. 

The gate of Omar, at the entrance of the city qfCe&area, 
guarded by men in the Saracen habit* 

Re-enter Malek Adhel, Matilda, Kaled, and 

Herminia. 

M. Ad. At length I welcome thee, my only love, 
Before the gates of this my loyal city. 
The Christians, dupes of their own perfidy, 
Will mourn thy loss ; Lusignan vainly hope 
.To rob me of thee more. 

Enter Lusignan hastily, from the Gate, followed by 

Dbmas and Guards. 

Lus. Tis false, by Heaven ! 
He robs thee of her now. 

M. Ad. (Starting.) Lusignan here ? 
Lva. Ay, Saracen, Lusignan holds command 
Within thy Cesarea how. Disarm . \To the Guards. 
Those infidels ; quick, bind their hands in chains, 
And lead them captives to the western tower. • 

[Male* Adhel and Kalep disarmed, and 
put in chains. 
M. Ad. Infernal prodigy !— Am I awake, . 

r 2 



/ 



68 MALEK ADOBf.; TRK Act I. 

Or comes some hideous dream athwart my fancy ? 
Where am I ?— -where? 

Lus. Thou'rt in the Christians' power. 
Behold, in me, thy conqueror and rival; 
And yield thy sword, thy liberty, and love : 
For know Matilda mine > thyself a prisoner, 
Ev*n in these walls, where late thou held'st command. 

Mat. Oh, treachery ! Oh ! horror past all utterance I 
My Adhel, thou art lost ! 

M. Ad. And thou, Matilda ! 
Fate, now, can do no more to ruin us. 

Lus. Struggle, thou proudest bulwark of the Crescent y 
Lion of battles, struggle in my toils ! 
In vain j — for Cesarea bends before me ; 
And ev'n this royal maid, my future queen, 
Shall own, ere long, Lusignan for her lord. 

[Exit, leading Matilda, who looks baclciin despair* 

at Malek Adhel, and, arrived at the side scene, 

Jaints 9 and is supported by Hbrminia and T)B)k as. 

Manent Malek Adhbl, Kaled, and Guards. 

M. Ad. Oh ! thou hast torn my bosom'd heart away .f 
Accurs'd, perfidious— no, I will not curse thee : 
I have too many wrongs, so to avenge them. 
A time may come, when*— no ; III curse alone 
*The blindness which has made me, thus, thy dupe. V 
Madman !— . I've led the maid my soul adores, 
With mine own hands,, into my rival's power I 
Let Cesarea in my absence fall ; — 
That Cesarea, Saiadin so late 



Scene III. champion of this crescent. 69 

Entrusted to my charge $ which, to defend 
To my last breath, so solemnly I swore ! 
These, these are horrors not to he sunriv'd : 
Ills that attack the very seat of life, 
And bid. pulsation cease. No more ! — lead on ! 

[Exeunt. 

SCENE III. 

An apartment in the palace of Malek Adhel, in 

Cesarea. 

Matilda, reclining on a sopha; Hbrminia, standing 

near her. 

Her. How fares your highness now? 

Mat. Alas, Herminia ! 
When 1 beheld the noble Adhel laden 
With ignominious chains, that moment seem'd 
To sum up all my miseries in one. 
And bring them to one close $ but tell, ah ! tell me, 
What fate attends th' unhappy prince ? 

Her. Alas! 
Within the dark cells of a narrow prison, 
He pines away the hours ! Lusignan triumphs : 
Forgetful that, to craft alone, he owes 
This most inglorious conquest. 

Mat. Base Lusignan, — 
Jerusalem's dethronM, unworthy sovereign, — 
Lord of thy life, heroic Malek Adhel ! 
Thy Cesarea taken,— thy Matilda, 
Through thine excess of love, for ever lost !'— 



70* HAALKK ADHKL ; THE Ad I. 

Oh !— could I hide me from the light of day, 

Which beams upon such sorrows ! — Pow'rs of Heav'n ! 

Is, then, th' extent of mine offences made 

The standard whence my chastisement is measur'd ? 

Enter Lu sign an hastily. 

Lus. (To Herminia.) Lady, you may withdraw: — 
I would be left 
To speak, alone, with England's princess, here. 

[Exit Herminia. 

Mat. (Rising with dignity, and coming forward. ) 
Lusignan lords it, then, in Cesarea. 
In truth, when I beheld a hero's hands 
With shackles charg'd, well might I rest assur'd 
'Twas not my brother who commanded here. 

Lus. Princess, the Christians to Lusignan owe 
A signal victory : rejoices not 
The pious sister of great Cceur de lion, 
When conquest sits upon the Christian helm ? 

Mat. I should indeed rejoice, if, to my soul, 
The Christians' honour were not dearer, far, 
Than their most splendid victories $ if thou, 
Lusignan, hadst not bought by treachery, 
A sorry triumph o'er the Crescent's sons. 

Lus. Madam, our foes could hold no other language. 

Mat. Such language, were he l^ere, would Richard 
hold: 
For perfidy his royal soul disdains. — 
And know, his sister boasts an equal scorn 
Of all duplicity. Would Cceur de Lion~ 



Scene III. champion of the crescsnt. 71 

Say, would that generous monarch have endur'd 
To see enchain'd by thee, those princely hands 
Which sav'd him twice from death, in battle's hour ? 
The hands of Malek Adhel, — noblest hero 
That e'er the world beheld } 

Lus. {Impatiently.) Hold, madam, hold! 
This is too much ! Too well you know your power 
Over my heart, since fearlessly, you thus 
Extol a rival to my face,— whose life 
Lies, now; within my grasp. 

Mat. Thou speakest, sire, 
As though the sole authority were thine. 
Richard, our chief, I know at Ascalon ; 
But are the Christian princes, who engag'd 
In this crusade, stripp'd then, of pow'r and rights ? 
If they have aided, hitherto, thy triumphs, 
Claim ithey not, also, share in the disposal 
Of the war's prisoners ? 

Lus. (Impetuously.) No ! — I alone 
The siege conducted, its success ensur'd. 
No doubt, the princes of the Holy League, 
To leave me sole disposer of a conquest 
They owe to me, requir'd not that, departing, , 
Richard with all his own supremacy 
Should have invested me. 

Mat. (Looking fixedly at him.) Tis well, Lusignan 5 
Since, then, this enterprise is thine alone, 
To Malek Adhel thou, alone, didst send 
That slave, with foul impostures charg'd, and taught 
By thee in base deception's arts, who led 



72 MALE& ADHKL ; THK Ad L 

The unsuspecting prince to take a step, 

Of danger, as of boldness unexampled : — 

Tearing me even from the altar's side ! 

And if the sanctity of mine asylum 

By Saracens was forcibly invaded, 

Tis thou, alone, wert cause of their offence. 

Lus. How, madam ! make you me responsible 
For crimes of sacrilegious infidels ? 

Mat. And who committed, if not thou, Lusignan, 
This impious crime ?— -Did not thy thoughts devise it ? 
And tell me now, which is most culpable, 
The Mussulman who blindly dealt the blow, 
Or subtle Christian who directed it } 

Lus. (Aside.) By Heav'n! she more esteems my 
rival's chains, 
Than the proud palms that deck my victor brow ! 
(Aloud.) Let us leave now, this idle controversy j 
For here, Matilda, by th' eternal Power 
That reigns above, I swear, you must be mine. 
I swear that, rather than resign this hand, 
I would resign my life. 

{Taking her hand, which she xoithdcaws again. 
In vain you seek 
To fly : — you shall not leave me. Long, too long, 
I've suffer'd your disdain without a murmur, 
Although your royal brother propp'd my cause, 
And, Christendom united to approve it* 
Then, since, by shewing reverence most profound, 
As though you were my sovereign, I have fail'd ; 
Perhaps I better may be profited 



Scene III. champion of thb crescent. 73 

Commanding as your master. Henceforth, therefore, 
I will employ, to force you to be mine, 
My utmost scope of power. 

Mat. (Indignantly.) When Englandjs king 
His pow'r consign'd to thee, he surely dream'd not 
Thou wouldst employ it to oppress the weak. 
Lusignan, oh ! — amid the infidels 
A captive long I've dwelt ; yet never saw 
That worshipper of Mahomet, whose soul 
Would not, indignantly, have spurn'd the part 
Judea's king has in my presence chosen, 
Whereby to stain his character. 

Ltis. Matilda, 
My projects by your scorn are but confirm'd ; 
And, by the Power we both revere, I swear, 
If yonder sun set not upon our nuptials, 
My rival dies. 

Mat. Profane and barb'rous man ! 
Heav'n, dost thou lend thy name to oaths like these ? 

Lus. (Taking her hand.) Decide, Matilda} wilt thou 
reign hereafter, 
The holy city's queen, Lusignan's wife ? 

Mat. (Withdrawing her hand.) Never ! since ev'n the 
N death of Malek Adhel, 
To me, has less of dread than such a marriage. 

Lus. (Coldly.) 'Tis well; then shall I doom the pagan's 
death 
More gladly, since his unconverted soul 
Will be from thine eternally divided. [Going. 



\ 



74 MALKK AbHBL I THB Act L 

Mat. (Aside.) Terrific thought! that freezes every 
vein! 
Oh ! what more fearful than the future doom 
That waits the infidel's rejected soul, 
If he resist the truth, and die in error ! 
(Aloud.} No, the enleagued princes ne'er will suffer 
The perpetration of so black a crime : 
All will revolt against this base injustice ; 
All will combine, Lusignan, to oppose thee, 
'Tis but appealing to my loyal English, 
With Austrian Albert, and brave Burgundy— 

bus. (Interrupting.) Nor Austrian Albert, nor brave 
Burgundy, 
Nor ev'n your loyal English can preserve him : 
I here command alone. • 

Mat. Commanding crimes, 
Our Christians, justly, will refuse t* obey thee : 
Nor will the high-born chiefs who grace our armies 
Submit to see their holy cause so sullied. 

Lus. Perhaps, like you, those high-born chiefs will 
deem 
Their honour bound to spare th' ensnared life 
Of their most potent foe ; but I, with ease, 
Can secretly destroy him $ — and, myself 
Soar, ev'n beyond suspicion. 

Mat. (foide.) Oh ! — he dies then ! 
(Aloud.) But grant that human justice shall absolve, 
Is there no higher court whose power can awe thee ? 
Are there, in Heav'n, no thunderbolts t' appal 
The man who meditates so foul a crime ? 



Scene III. champion of the crescent. *5 

Lvs. (Kneeling at her feet.) I merit, I expect my 
punishment: 
But oh ! remorse and fear are light, compar'd 
With the superior dread of seeing thee 
The wife of Malek Adhel,— of my rival ! 

Mat. (Disdainfully.) This impious frenzy would in- 
spire more pity 
Than ev'n aversion, were 1 not reduc'd 
To that extreme of misery, which makes 
Thy hated hand, or the eternal doom 
Of a brave prince, my dire alternative. — 
But ere I take my last resolve, Lusignan, 
I must behold him. 

Lus. (Rising imperiously.) No — believe me, madam, 
You shall not see him : well I know your power. 
Or e'er he would behold you mine, perhaps 
He would consent to own the Gospel's light ; 
That you might firmly look upon his death, 
Perhaps would ev'n receive baptismal rites. 
No, no ! refuse me still, that he may die 
An obdurate heathen ; and deliver thus 
My jealous soul from fear of your reunion, 
Ev'n through eternity's unbounded reign. 

Mat. (Throwing herself at his feet.) Inhuman prince! 
If, for a matchless hero 
Thou own'st no reverence ; — if thy bosom feels 
No pity for Matilda's deep despair 5 
Pity, at least, thyself ! — Oh, think 1 — Destruction \ 
Awaits thee in the path thou art pursuing] 
Thou art about to see thy guilty hands 



70 male* adhbl; thb ifcf /. 

Crimson'd with innocent blood ! — To stab a prince 
Thou hast condemned in dungeon glooms to pine, 
And robb'd of all protection, but— thine own ! 
Christian ! recall to mind thy heav'nly Master !— 
Such were not His instructions ! 

Lus. Heav'nly beauty! 
Demand my blood, my life ; nay, ask yet more ! 
For thy sake, every sacrifice is easy, 
Except resigning thee. Then rise, Matilda-— 

Mat. (Still prostrate.) Never, till thou hast heard me ! 
Here I lie 
Till Death himself release, if thou refuse me. 
Hear now, Lusignan, how thou mayst retrieve 
My lost esteem : nay, gain my admiration. 
Though passion has awhile degraded thee, 
One glorious effort may redeem the past. 
Oh ! let the hands which now I press in mine, 
Break the harsh chains which fetter Malek Adhel's ! 
Beholding thee so great, — so generous, 
He doubtless, more will fear, but must admire thee ! 
'Tis heroism that I require, I grant ; 
But well thou know'st its influence o'er my soul : 
Let me not think, then, I o'errate thy worth, 
When I believe thee capable t' attain it. 

Lus. (Aside.) Now must I shift my ground; and, to 
amuse her 
With hope's delusive dreams, affect the hero. 
(Aloud, raising her.) Rise, lovely princess! you have 

conquered: rise, 
And speak a generous pardon of that boldness 



Scene III. champion op the crescent. 77 

Which an excess of love alone inspir*d, 
And best may justify. I promise all 
That you have deign'd to ask ; and, further yet 
To prove my zeal, 1 would still more perform. 

Mat. (Aside.) Though he grants all, I am not 
reassur'd $ 
For somewhat in his favour seems more dreadful 
Than his most fiery rage. How shall I answer ? 

Enter Demas hastily* 

Dent. The Christian princes, sire, are all assembled : 
Soon as they heard of Malek Adhei's capture, 
They left their tents, and now, within this palace, 
Demand an audience. 

Lus. Know'st thou what they purpose ? 

Dem. They from your majesty would learn, what fate 
Is destin'd for th' illustrious captive — 

Lus. (Starting.) Hah! 

Dem. Th' occasion asks some haste, my royal lord ; 
For great commotion now prevails among them. 

Lus. How } sayst thou so ?— Then, Demas, quickly 
bring me 
My lance and buckler. Ill attend them. 

[Exit Dbh as, -and returns with the armour. 

Mat. Yet, 
Remember, sire, your promises. 

Lus. I will. 
Be calm, and fear not, madam. 

[Exit Lusignak, followed by Demas. 

Mat. Oh ! great Heaven ! 



1 



78 MALEK ADHEL ; THE Ad I* 

He makes me tremble, bidding me be calin ! 

What can I do ? Where look on earth for comfort > 

By man deceiv'd, abandon'd, and betray d ! 

When Tyre's archbishop saw me torn away 

From holy Cannel's altars, why, alas ! 

Did he not follow my bewilder' d steps ? 

Oh ! charitable Anselm ! 'twere a task, 

Well worthy thee, to clear my Adhel's doubts j 

Complete conversion's pious work, and bid 

The blaze of truth illume a hero's soul ! 

Depriv'd of him, of thee, of every aid, 

My joyless soul can turn alone to Heaven. [Kneels* 

But thou, HeavVs Lord ! art merciful ! To thee 

The wretched suppliant never kneels in vain ! 

[The scene closes. 



END OF ACT THE FIRST. 



Scene I. champion of thjb crescent. 79 

ACT II. 

SCENE I. 

A Prison. 

MaleR Adhel seated on the ground, in a mournful pos- 
ture. To him, enter the Archbishop. 

Arch. Darkness and horror reign within these cells ; 
And groans, and stifled sighs assail mine ear; 

[Seeing Malek Adhei;. 
Heav'n ! has Thy guiding hand convey'd him hither ? 
And hast thou chargM Misfortune to reveal 
Thy name all pow'rful to him } ■ 

M. Ad. (Suddenly rising*) Hah! what voice — 
What well-known voice pervades these realms of woe ? 
Is *t Anselm that I hear ? 

Arch. (Embracing him.) 'Tis he ! My son, 
My son, Heav'n will deliver thee — 

M. Ad. (Interrupting.) Ah no ! — 
My honour — Heav'n will not restore my honour ! 
Oh, Father! I have lost it !— I have felt 
There was, for me, a greater grief on earth, 
Than ev'n Matilda's loss. 

Arch. Our great Creator 
Can yet, my son, with vantage render back 
All thou hast lost : for still our frail possessions 
Are poor, compared with His celestial treasures. 

M. Ad. No, no j there is no peace* no hope for me 
Abandoning the town he trusted to me, 



80 MALBK ADHKL; THK Ad II. 

I have betray'd my brother j been surprised— 
Entrapp'd by traitor hands $ and, loaded thus. 
With chains, most slave-like,— dragg'd to this vile 

dungeon $ 
And here, upon this straw, I wait for death* 

Arch. Talk not of death, my son ; thou shalt not die ! 
Behold the time when Anselm may redeem 
His various debts of gratitude to thee. 
I have the means to set thee free. 

M. Ad. My father,— 
What dost thou mean ? 

Arch. What I may well perform. 

M. Ad. But oh ! reflect $ what were Lusignan's rage, 
Should he thus lose his prey, his destin'd slave ? 

Arch. No matter ; thou shalt hence. 

M. Ad. Bethink thee yet, 
If I go hence, 'twill be t' oppose the Christians $ 
If I go hence, 'twill be t' avenge my brother, 
And to restore to him his Cesarea.— 

Arch. (Impatiently.) Why tell me this, young man > 
I had hot ask'd thee ! 

M. Ad. Nay, rather than deceive thee, I would die 
Amid these dreary vaults. And tell me, now, 
Since he thou wouldst preserve, must fight against thee. 
Still wouldst thou have me free ? 

Arch. All-gracious Heaven f 
Did he not break my bonds at Damietta ? 
At Jaffa, and Damascus, save my life ? 
Has he not, ever, sent me to rejoin 
Our Christians, though I urg'd them on to war 



Scene L champion of the crxscbnt. 81 

Against his faith and nation ? Wouldst thou see 
Thine enemies more generous than thy. sons ? — 
No ; by this act of charity, I hurt not 
Thy sacred cause: for I have ever known 
More hearts, by love converted, than by wrath. 

[ToM. Ad. 
Tis He, Prince Adhel, that indulgent master, 
All tenderness and mercy, bids me save thee. 

[Taking off his chains. 
At is not I, His He delivers thee, 
Who reigns above, the Saviour of the world ! 
Oh ! may this thought arrest thy conquering sword 
In battle's heat, and bid thee spare the Christians ! 

[Takes the hand o/M. Ad. 
Come now, my son $ I know each winding way 
'Mid these abodes of sorrow. Oft 't has been, 
In times long past, the kind decree of Heav'n, 
That 1 should visit them, thereby to learn 
The happy means of saving Malek Adhel. 

M. Ad. Anselm, a pow'r unknown disturbs my 
. . heart : 
All that I hear from thee, and feel within, 
Wakes to new thoughts. Thy words seem truth itself ■, 
JBut ere I will believe — will listen to them, — 
I must efface the insults I have suffer'd ; 
Must meet in arms Lusignan- 

Arch. {With solemnity,) Be a Christian: 
Learn to subdue thy pride, and hate revenge. 

M. Ad. (Kneeling to Arch.) Pity me, Father! for I 
dare not listen ! 

G 



62 MALKKADHEL; TBB Act II. 

Somewhat there is hi thee, awakes my wonder ; 
Nay, bids me waver, even on my duties :•— 
Somewhat, which speaks more loudly, ev'n than 

honour! 
Stay me no longer. 1 may soon recal thee -, * 
May need thy kind compassion. Life is odious — 
I am from my Matilda torn for ever ! 
Ah ! daring then no longer live for her, 
It will be sweet to me, by thee to die ! 

Arch. (Laying his Jmnds on MALsk Adhbl's head.) 
I bless thee, oh my son ! and may oar God 
Bless thee, as I do ! May he new create 
Thy mind, and arm thee with his Holy Spirit. 
May thy past errors henceforth be forgotten ; 
Thy heart subdued. Soon mayst thou learn t' acknow- 
ledge 
His hand, who founded earth and measur'd heaven. 
May thy salvation dawn, and HeavVs hi£h justice 
Soon be reveal'd to thee ! [A long pause. 

(Discovering a secret door.) Mark now, this outlet 
Leads secretly beyond the city walls. £M. Ad. rises. 
Plung'd in the neighbouring wood of sycamores, 
Await the darkness of the night, and ccoss 
The plain tow'rds Ascalon. Elude thy foes j 
But ever, still, the eye of Providence 
Shall be upon thee,— never shall forget thee ! 

M. Ad. Oh, holy patriarch ! Do we part even here ? 
Remain'st thou then imprisoned? Wouldst thou take 
My chains? Ah! will the Christians dare revenge 
My flight upon thy venerated head ? 

Arch. No, fear it not, my son. Thy victor sword 



SeertC I. CHAMPION OP THK CRR6CENT. $3 

Made it their prudence to detain thee captive ; 

But prudence, to the noble sons of Christ, 

Is far less dear than generosity. 

Believe not all our Christians like Lusignan -, 

There is not one but will rejoice, prince Adhel, 

To know thee safe : not one, but will with thanks 

Repay my having dar'd to give thee freedom ! 

M. Ad. If they are such as thou describ'st, my father, 
How great, how noble are the sons of Christ ! 
But how surpassing great, that Power Divine, 
Who form'd such souls as thine, and my Matilda's ! 
Matilda ! — Oh ! that name is steep'd in sorrow ! 
My father, I shall never see her more ! 

Arch. (Severely.) Rash youth ! thou wouldst have 
torn her from her Maker ! 
Thou hast presum'd thine arm had pow'r to wrestle. 
Against Omnipotence! — Lo ! how, how Heaven 
Can mock th* audacious thought ! The youthful princess 
Must yet come back to Heav'n; and thou, prince Adhel, 
Must think of her no more. 

M. Ad. Twill soon be thus : 
Soon may she quit the world, and Malek Adhel 
No more be here to mourn for her. — My father, 
Tell her, that I restore her recent promise ; 
And pray her to devote her thoughts to Heaven. 
Oh ! she will comprehend this supplication ; 
For she will feel it is my last adieu ! 

{After a pause, embracing ike Archbishop. 
Adieu, too, thou — deliverer, friend,— and father ! 
Should Adhel die ere he again behold thee, 

G2 



84 - MALE& ADHELj THE Act II. 

Promise him , now, to mourn o'er his cold ashes, 
And call down blessings from thy God upon him ! 

[They embrace again, and exit M. Ad. hastily, 

Manet Archbishop. 
Arch. Eternal Lord ! ev'n in the noon-day beam 
O'ershade and hide, him whom the sword pursues ; 
And guide in secresy the wanderer's path ! 
Illustrious Adhel, now I take thy place : [Sits down. 
Perhaps, too,, take thy chains — thy heavy chains ! 
Poor prince ! and is it thus they have o'ercharg'd thee? 
Pardon, oh Lord I those who oppress their foes ! 

Enter Lusignan. 

Lus. Hah ! what means this ? My prisoner gone ; and 
Anselm, 
The Tyrian primate, in his place? — Confusion ! 

Arch. Whom seeks the Holy City's king, within 
These gloomy walls ? Comes he to free from chains- 
The captive sufferer ? 

Lus. Anselm, no — I seek 
The Saracen's blood alone, whose impious sword 
Laid waste that holy city, and despoil' d 
Lusignan of his crown. 

Arch. He's here no longer. 
My son, I've taken on this head his sin, 
And charg'd myself with his iniquity. 
Look now— if blood be thy demand for this,, 
I freely give thee mine. 

Lvs. . Who broke his bonds ? 
Who dar'd to set him free ? 



r . 



Scene I. champion of the crescent. 85 

Arch. (Rising.) He set him free, 
Who sent me forth to heal misfortune's wounds ; 
To publish freedom to the wretched slave, 
And to the captive, blest deliverance ! — 
Oh, Christian king ! what path hast thou essay' d 
To bring thee back to Sion, and thy throne ! 
An artifice, of royalty the stain, 
Drew to thy wily net this foe illustrious -, 
A treachery to the Christian name injurious, 
Brings thee to visit thy defenceless victim j 
To bid him die, perhaps — 

Lus. (Aside.) Oh! would I could! 
But now, what fate hath lost, must art redeem. 
(Aloud.) Heav'n speaks by. holy Anselm's mouth; and I 
Must own, that I have merited its wrath ; 
Must own, a fatal passion has misled me : 
But can I ne'er efface these ills, my father ? — 
I can ; and let me now explain the means. 
Though Kaled I already have set free, 
At fair Matilda's suit, the confidence 
Of the crusading princes, who resent 
My treatment of Prince Adhel, will be lost, 
Unless they deem that, by my private order, 
Thou hast enfranchis'd him. This, holy primate, 
Allow me, unoppos'd, to say; and then 
May Christendom hope conquest, glory, gain, — 
Every advantage that our cause requires, 
From my unvanquish'd arm, — undaunted spirit. 

Arch. Thy loss of fair Jerusalem, thy kingdom, 
Too well I see, is not enough, Lusignan, 



86 MALKK ADHEL, THE Act II. 

T abate the swellings of thy boastful heart ; 
Arrest its vain impetuosities ; 
And teach thee modest, sage humility. 
The least success, howe'er ignobly 1 won, 
Exalts thy pride, and bids it aim at all 
That human heart can hope, of hand achieve. 
Yet will I not unveil thy shame, Lusignan ; 
Twere too opprobrious to our holy cause : 
But all thy future steps I will pursue 
With a fixM, watchful eye ; though I respect 
Thy purple royalty/ thy high descent j 
Know, that 'tis mine t'annihilate thy greatness. 
If thou employ it to unworthy ends : 
Know, I can plead with Heav'n the sinner's cause, 
But cannot be the advocate of sin ; 
And lastly know, that, stripped of all disguise 
From outward pow'r or innate artifice, 
I to the wide surrounding world will shew 
The man who dares persist in evil deeds ! [Exit. 

Lus. Accurs'd mischance ! 

Enter Dbmas. 

What brings thee, Demas, hither ) 
Dem. I bring you, sire, important news : ev'n now, 

Encamp'd on the surrounding plain, the sultan, 

With all his forces, threatens Cesarea. 

Kaled already joins him. 
Lus* Malek Adhel, — 

Whom yon officious priest has freed from prison, — 

Is, doubtless, on his way to aid his brother $ 



Scene I. champion of the crescent. 97 

And, Demas, we must meet, and give them battle, 

Ere they invest the city. (Aside.) Curs'd mischance ! 

That spoils me of my most secure revenge ! 

But yet, 'tis something still, that we may meet* 

This formidable Saracen, this chief 

Victorious ever in the bloody fight, 

Rival in arms, not less than in my love, 

May fall — and by this hand. Oh ! be it so ! 

The thought alone so soothes my angry soul, 

I reck not how reality's achieved ! 

(Aloud.) Denias, thou wast thyself a Mussulman, 

Though now some years have seen thee in my train ? 

Bern. 'Tis true, my liege, and much my state is 
better'd, 
By leaving for a king's — a prophet's service. 
So am I now a Christian like yourself* 
And prompt to execute your every wish. 

Lus. Good Pemas, what if I demand a service 
Whose true performance shall enrich thee ever ?— 
As earnest of reward, this purse receive -, 

[Gives a purse. 
And tell me, wilt thou serve me ? 

Dem. While I live. 
Let me but know your majesty's good pleasure. 

Lus. What if the deed I ask be criminal ? — 
Thou wouldst not hesitate ? 

Dem. ( Looking on the purse.) No, by this gold ! 
Nought should deter me, sire, from serving you. 

Lus. Know, Demas, then, that in th* expected battle, 
I own but one desire, see but one object : 



88 MAL&K ADHKL ; THIS Ad II. 

It is to conquer, by whatever means, 
The Arab chief, my rival, — Malek Adhel. 
By all those names so rooted in my hate. 
That his survival would embitter mine. 
Let him not live to boast of my defeat ! 
Death he may give, but let him death receive. 
Be thou, my squire, still near us. If we move 
Forth from the general shock of combatants, 
Follow our steps in secret. — Victory mine, — 
In peace shalt thou a rich reward enjoy ; 
But if I fall, — I here repeat it, Demas, — 
On thy fidelity I would depend 
That he shall not survive me. 

Dent. Sire, rely 
On mine obedience. 

Lus. I am satisfied. 
The chance of war I, now, no longer dread ; 
Since there is nothing left but death to fear. 
Send we to Ascalon, and warn them there, 
That Saladin besieges Cesarea. — 
Richard, no doubt, will on the news return, 
And reassume the sovereign command ; 
While I shall, freely, quench my private hate, 
Ev'n in the heart's-blood of this unbeliever. 

[Exeunt. 



Scene II. champion of thk crkscent. 89 



SCENE II. 

Changes to Saladin* s camp near Cesarea. 

Enter Saladin attended. 

Sal. (To his guards.) If he asks audience, bid him 

seek it here 5 
And send me Kaled hither, instantly. [Exeunt guards. 
(After a pause.) This is most strange! After such base 

defection, 
Thus does he dare, alone, unarm'd, to come, 
A ready victim to my just resentment ? — } 

Enter Malek Adhel. 

Sal. [Severely.) Oh, Malek Adhel! when to thee I 
trusted • 
The guard of Cesarea, 'twas not thus 
Despoil'd, dishdnour'd, humbled, and abash'd, 
I thought again to see thee ! 

M.Ad. Saladin, 
1 am too culpable to meet thine eyes ; 
And Ayoub's * glorious name, in me disgrac'd, 
Forbids me, now, to claim a brother's title. 
My duty, oaths — all, all I have forgotten ! 
Lusignan holds command in Cesarea, 
Master of walls, which to my care, thou gav'st ! 
Lusignan— Oh ! I have no words t* express 
The anguish of this moment — 

• The name of the father of Saladin and Mokk Adhel. 



'*? 



gO MALKK ADllBL J THK Act II. 

Sal. (Softened.) Yet relate 
What strange event hath plac'd him in thy seat ? 
Thou hast been still invincible, till now. 

M. A. Would I had died, or e'er I ceas'd to be so ! 
But treachery, that stain on warrior's deeds, 
Alone enabled him to seize the city. 
Dupe of my fatal love, of my heart's weakness, 
I ventured forth to rescue England's princess, — 
As 1 imagin'd, — from Lusignan's power. 
My rival knew the flight himself had plann'd, 
And quickly seiz'd th' advantage of my absence 
To make the city his : while, to entrap me, 
Returning with my prize, his sentinels 
Assum'd the Arab garb. I seek not, sultan, 
T* avert thy wrath, or justify my folly. 
The keen remorse I feel, permits me not 
To seek or find excuse. 

Sal. The faithful Kaled, 
A witness of thy conduct, and a victim 
Of thine imprudence, had already brought 
To mine astonish' d ear, this strange recital ; 
Yet did he paint thee far less culpable. 
Kaled, thy friend, while he deplor'd thine errors, 
Deem* d them not wholly inexcusable. 

M. Ad. Is Kaled here ? Oh ! lives he ? Is he free ? 

Enter Kaled. 

Kal. Prince, thou behold'st him. 
M. Ad. Oh ! my valued friend ! [Embracing. 

Blest be the angel who delivered thee ! 



Scene II. CHAMPION OF THE CRESCENT. 9 1 

This opes, again, to joy, a heart I thought 
For ever clos'd to happiness ! 

Kal, Prince Adhel, 
Much have the prophet's sons and I endur'd ; 
But it were yet ungrateful to deny 
That, save Lusignan, every Christian chief 
Hath prov'd himself humane and generous. y 

For me, although the hand was hid in darkness 
That broke my chains, I yet have cause to know 
That England's princess gain'd me liberty. 

M. Ad. (Aside.) Ah yes ! the pitying act was thine, 
Matilda ! 
But gratitude, like love, must now be hush'd. 

Sal. ( To M. Ad.) What now are thy resolves, and 
to thy country 
What reparation dost thou offer ? 

M, Ad. Hear me. 
When I beheld these limbs with fetters charg'd, 
And fair Matilda in Lusignan's power ; 
Proud Cesarea humbled, lost, enslav'd ; — 
My glory tarnish'd,— thee betray'd, my brother!— 
Death, instant death, had been my only prayer, 
Had not the dear hope of avenging thee 
Left me a sacred duty to fulfil. 

Sal. The hero then, o'er a weak love triumphant, 
Again, will mount the heights whence late he fell ; 
And lead, again, my armies on to conquest ? 

M. Ad. It may not be. — Oh ! mighty Saladin ! 
O'erwhelm me not with so much clemency ! 
So dear thv interests to Malek Adhel, 



92 MALEKADHBL; TUB Act II. 

He cannot see thee to thyself unjust 3 
And in this hour of humbled pride, he feels 
Thy goodness far more painful than thy rigour. 
Ah ! let me then, ev*n in the lowest ranks, 
Amid the meanest of thy soldiers, hide ! 
Too happy, if they will permit me this : 
They, whose fidelity, whose honour, still 
Have been untainted, even by suspicion. 

Sal. From earliest youth our constant friend, thou, 
Kaled, 
Know'st well the heart, dost not defend the errors 
Of Malek Adhel 3 and thy words shall guide me. 
If thou unfit shalt judge him, or unworthy 
His former state of high command to hold, 
Thy sultan swears, by mighty Allah's throne, — 
Regardless of the ties of blood, — to hush 
The softer pleadings of fraternal love, 
And listen, solely, to the voice of justice. 
Speak, Kaled, and pronounce his final doom. 

Kal. Great sultan, hear from me, the general wish • 
Live Malek Adhel still, the glorious brother 
Of our brave sovereign : may bright victory 
Still gild his steps, and friendship's fondest ties 
To Saladin unite him. Still, the object 
Of our affection, may he be our leader ! 
Such would we have him, ever. 

Sal. Such he shall be. — 
Come 3 in this fond embrace, the past is buried ; 
And thou'rt my brother still. [To M. Ad. 

M. Ad. Thy slave for ever ! . [Em brace. 

To all thy will devoted.— Saladin 



Scene II. champion or the crescent. 93 

And Kaled, oh ! 'tis sweet to be thus cherish'd : 
I feel it, though these touching proofs of love 
Tear me, for ever, from the gentle maid, 
But late the object of my fondest hopes. 
Ah, fatal hopes ! by every duty cross'd, 
And, now, to every duty sacrific'd ; — 
Farewell ! — Eternally farewell, Matilda ! 

Sal. (Giving him a sword*) Banish her now thy 
thoughts ; and let this weapon 
Plant glory there, where love too long has reign'd. 

M. Ad. My noble brother, and thou, trusting friend, 
Who, at the moment when I have betray'd you, 
Can still place faith in me — your confidence 
I thankfully accept ; for now, I feel 
I'm worthy of it. Oh ! the sacrifice 
My heart has vow'd to you, assures me so ; 
And soon this sword shall prove it. 

Sal. Let us haste, then, 
And join to form our plan of battle : sure, 
That in th' intoxication of their triumph, 
The Christians will not hesitate to meet us. 

M. Ad. That battle will be terrible— decisive ! 
Yet a few days, perchance, and War's loud tongue 
Shall to the world proclaim, which empire falls. 
Whether, beneath the Prophet's mighty standard, 
Or the far-streaming banners of the Cross, 
The subjugated East shall henceforth bend ! 

[Exeunt. 

END OF ACT THE SECOND. 



94 MALEK ADHEL; THK Act III. 



ACT III. 

SCENE I. 

The plains qfCesarea, as in Act I. 

Malek Adhel and Kalbd. 

M. Ad. Behold the moment when our eager warriors, 
Led to the fight by valiant Saladin, 
Rush forth, and hasten to the grand assault. 
Their lances now in rest, their vizors down, 
The Christians too, forsake the guardian walls 
Of Cesarea, rousM With equal ardour. 
Each spurs his courser's sides, and onward hastes 
To meet th' opposed foe. Ere these shall part, 
Sword shall cross sword j shield against shield shall 

strike) 
And jav'lin against javlin shall rebound. 
Now must this arm to Saladin redeem 
The city 1 have lost him. At the price, 
(To me, the precious price,) of Christian blood, 
Must his revenge be bought. — It must, it shall, — 
Though, as Matilda's brother, every Christian 
Is dear to Malek Adhel, — save Lusignan ! 

Kal. {Looking out.) Yonder, my prince, behold they 
meet so closely, 



Scene I. champion of the crescent. 95 

That the crusading, from the Arab troops, 
The eye can scarce distinguish. 

M. Ad. Let's away ; 
For Saladin will soon demand our aid : 
And oh, Matilda ! could it lead to thee, 
How gladly should I fly to victory ! [Exit. 

Manet Kaled. 

KaL (Looking out) Now clouds of dust, thick rising 

from the throng, 
Conceal the combatants from view, obscure 
The air, and mount to heav'n* Th' affrighted hills 
Reverberate the clash of meeting arms, 
The shouts of victory, and groans of death. 
Heav'n be thy shield, brave prince ! for much I fear 
Thou art, thyself, too heedless of defence. [Exit. 

[Drums behind the scenes, heard at intervals* 

Enter Lusignan and Demas. 

Lu$. Richard, already, o'er their left wing triumphs ; 
And I have broke their central lines. Our Christians 
Have, thus, th' advantage, though the infidels 
Headed by Saladin, have yet repuls'd us 
With their right wirig ; but since this Saracen, 
This Malek Adhel, has attack'd our rear, 
The victory seems about V abandon us. 
Could I "withdraw my formidable rival 
To single combat:, in this spot remote, . 
Our troops would speedily redeem their Ides $ 
And I, though sure to per&h in the struggle,— 



p6 MALRK ADHKL $ THE Act HI. 

Since sure the Arab chief will perish also, — 
Should hail ev'n death as welcome. Tarry, Demas, 
Within yon cave : I'll seek him through the field > 
Provoking to the fight with bitterest taunts* 
Until (his prudence to his anger yielding,) 
He grasp at vengeance, and my vengeance meet ! 

[Exit. 

Manet Demas. 
Dent. (Looking out.) The battle rages still. The 
Mussulmans 
Retain th' advantage, and the Christians fall. 
Yonder, Prince Adhel leads his pow'rs triumphant, 
With Kaled by his side, — a bulwark vain ; — 
For he is, surely, wounded, and Lusignan 
Shall buy an easy conquest. Now, my master, 
Reach, challenge, goad him too, with terms of seorn $ 
And probe him to the quick. His fury rous'd, 
Affect to fly, and lead him to his fate. — 
They come, they come ! I must to my retreat. 

[Retires among trees to the cave. 

Enter Lusignan hastily, followed by Malek. Adhel 
wounded, both tvith swords drawn. 

M. Ad. Have I at length attain'd thee, recreant king ? 
When thou by wrongs and insults hast provok'd, 
Wouldst thou by flight avoid, my just revenge ? 

Las. I meet thee, Saracen, I scorn thy power -, 
And joy to see, that vengeance to thy soul 
Is dearer than the cause of Saladin, 
Which now thou art deserting. 



Scene I. champion off the crescent. 07 

M. Ad. Thy destruction 
Will best assist the cause of Saladin. 
One instant may suffice to rid the earth 
Of thee, detested rival ! and 'twere vain, 
To deem one instant of their leader's absence 
Would bring to my brave troops defeat. Then haste — 
Haste we t' extinguish in our blood, the hatred 
Which mutually inflames us. 

Lus. (Smiling scornfully.) Thou art wounded. 
Our Christian steel, I see, has drunk thy blood, 
And thou hast ceas'd to be invincible. 

M. Ad. Your Christians have small cause of triumph 
there ; 
For life is worthless, now, to Malek Adhel, 
And his warm life-blood may they freely take :— 
But were they shed t* avenge thee, my Matilda — 
And were it not, that thou would'st mourn my death, 
How should I bless these parting vital, drops ! 

Lus. Matilda mourn thy death ? No, pagan ; trust me, 
She would partake the joy of Christendom. 

M. Ad. Believe, Lusignan, thou'rt the only Christian 
Whose blood, without reluctance, I could shed. 

Lus. Yet thou, with all thy pride of warlike fame, 
Shalt shortly bow thy crested head, subdued 
By my superior force. 

M. Ad. (Throning away his shield.)' Thy God for- 
bid it ! 
Oh ! throw we by, these vain defences, yet, 
Which but retard defeat ; and, rather, hasten 



96 MAf<EK ADHBL ; THB Act III. 

The happy hour when one of us shall cease 
To hate the other. 

Lus. (Throwing atvay his shield.) There, then, lies 
my buckler. 
Horrible Death ! now hear our wrathful strokes ! 
Fly— hover round, and smile to see the victim,-— 
The glorious victim, which this day shall fall 
Beneath thy dreaded sway ! [Exeunt fighting. 

Demas coming forward, looks after them. 

Dem. Lusignan never 
Shew'd valour so resistless j never yet 
Did hopes so bright invigorate his arm : 
For Malek Adhel, weaken'd by his wounds, 
Fails jn that active strength, which yet, in him, 
Courage may well supply. In either hand 
He grasps his sword ; now on Lusignan's head 
Levels a furious blow — Lusignan staggers— 
His helmet falls in shivers to the earth, 
While show'rs of blood o'erwhelm his blinded eyes. 
As if he scorn'd unequal fight, Prince Adhel 
Throws his own casque far wide.— Lusignan now, 
Scarce yet himself, springs quick upon the foe, 
Ere he haye time t' evade the heavy stroke : 
Yet, though his blood wide gushes from his wound, 
The Arab pierces quick his rival's side fT - 
Now, less t' attack, than to defend himself, 
Lusignan seems to aim :<*-avoids the prince- 
Wheels r^und him, wearies him, exhausts his strength ; 



Scene L champion of the crescent. 99 

• 
ho ! Malek Adhel, seizing, now, his poniard. 

Makes at my master's heart, — they struggle now — 

Entwin'd, attack each other, and repulse* 

Adhel has seiz'd his royal adversary ; 

He strikes with force — they fall, — they fall together ! 

[A noise, as of fallings behind* 

Lus. (Without.) Hear me, Prince Adhel ! — Oh ! 

Dem. Lusignan dies ! [Draws his dagger. 

Then, come thou forth, my trusty weapon ! now, 
Thy time is ripe for action, [Runs of. 

Re-enter Dem as hastily, followed by Malek Adhel, 
in a wounded and bleeding state ; his helmet off, and 
his dagger drawn. 

M. Ad. Lurking traitor, 
Where art thou ? — I have strength yet left to punish — 
Ah, no ! I sink — mine eyes refuse to guide me.— 
Oh ! if thou hast, within thy heart, one nerve 
That yields to pity's touch, tell my Matilda — [Falls. 

Dem. (Looking out.) By Heav'n, she comes! and 
with her the Archbishop. 
How shall I meet their questions ? Wretched man ! 
Why canst not thou redeem thy crime, and bring 
This prince, again, to life ?— Ah ! 'tis too late ! 
No pow'r can save him now ! 

Enter Matilda and the Archbishop. 

Mat. Believe me, father, 
I from the palace turrets watch'd their steps ; 

h2 

398828A 



MX) MALEK ABHBL; TH» Ad HI. 

And saw them quit th' embattled field together. 
They bent this way their course. — Oh ! Pow'rs Su- 
preme ! — 
What horror strikes mine eyes ?— Tis Malek Adhel! 

Arch. Horror indeed ! Here lies the prince we seek, 
Cover'd with wounds, extended on the dust. — 
But who hath done this deed ? 

Mat. (To Demas.) The deed was thine, 
Assassin base ! Thy bloody dagger speaks it I 

Arch. Miscreant ! Hope no forgiveness for thy crime, 
But by sincere repentance, and confession.— 
Fell Malek Adhel by thy hand I 

Dem. Too truly. 
Lusignan's the command, but mine the act. 
Yet tremblingly my rash hand dealt the blow 5 
And still, perhaps, he lives. — Oh ! let me hence — 
I cannot bear to look at him again ! [Exit. 

Mat. (Putting her hand to the heart o/Malek Adhxl.) 
My Adhel ! let there beat one pulse of life 
Within thy noble heart,— however faintly,— 
And thy Matilda shall discover it ! 
If thou'rt no more j — if virtues great as thine 
Must be hereafter punish'd, where, high Heav'n ! 
Would be thy justice* where thy truth ? 

Arch. My daughter, 
Die, rather, of thy grief, than question, thus, 
The Great Creator's will. 

[Matilda kneeling, places the head of Malek. 
Adhel on her lap. 

Mat. (After a pause.) He breathes, my father ! 



Scene I. champion of the crxscent. 101 



He breathes again, and Heav'n is justified ! 

I hear him faintly sigh. — Oh ! Thou, who reign' st 

Above, — Thou know'st my thoughts, Thou know'st, 

'tis not 
For love, or for myself, I now implore thee ! 
Take Thou the sole possession of his heart ; 
And let him but behold the light again, 
To learn t' acknowledge Thee. Be Thou, be Thou, 
His only thought, and let me be forgotten ! 
(To the Archbishop.) Oh ! pray thou for him, 

venerable saint ! 
Heav'n will not, surely, to thy pray'rs, refuse 
Acceptance to the hero's soul. 

A rch. I -will; 
And yon, pure current shall supply, my child, 
The waters that shall wash away his sins ; 
Atone, the errors of his faith, and bid him, 
Assur'd of Heav'n's forgiveness, die in peace. 

[Exit, and returns with water, with which he 
bathes the forehead o/Malek Adhel. 
Mat. Touch'd by those hands which bless'd the 
sacred stream, 
His eyes he half uncloses — speak to him : 
Approach him, holy Anselm : 'tis not, now, 
Myvoice he ought to hear 5 but Heav'n's, and thine* 
Arch. (Kneeling by the side o/Malek. Adhel.) My 
son, thy Maker calls, and Heav'n awaits thee* 
Mm Ad. (In a feeble voice.) Art thou return'd, my 
father ?— Is it thou ? 
Still dost thou not abandon, then, thy child ? 



109 MAJLBE APHBL; THS Act JIL 

Mat. (Passionately clasping her hands.) I bless thee, 
gracious Lord ! my Adhel lives ! 

M* Ad. (Endeavouring to raise himself.) Oh yet, 
what voice is that ? What heav'nly voice 
Comes, to impart delight to death itself? 

Arch. Give, oh my son ! to other thoughts, these 
moments, 
These few, short moments of departing life ; 
For they may give thee life and bliss eternaL 

M. Ad. (Taking Matilda's hand.) With her, my 
father ? 

Arch. Yes, my son, with her. 
Surely, a Power all mercy, truth, and love, 
Will grant acceptance to conversion, wrought 
By love sincere and pure. With her, my son, 
If thy last thoughts, last wishes rise to Him, 
Who breath'd in death compassion on the sinner, 
Thou shalt live ever happy, in a world, 
Where sickness, crime, and sorrow are unknown. 

M. Ad. Oh ! smooth with heavenly hope the paths 
of death 5 
And make me worthy happiness like this ! 

Arch. (Giving him the Crucifix from his girdle.} Take 
then, the holy symbol of Redemption s 
Adore the beams of that bright Sun, which set 
In blood, upon the Cross, to give thee light ; 
And hope, more fervently, thy soul's salvation, 
From knowing that our Saviour's pow'r t* obtain, 
Far, far exceeds all pow'r thine errors have 
To rob thee of Heav'tfa favour. Take, and live. 



Scene /* champion of the crescent. 109 

M. Ad. (Taking the Crucifix iwth both hands, and 
pressing it to his lips.) Itays of celestial light ! I have 

beheld you*** 
Eternal life descending in my soul, — 
And ne'er can lose you more ! Faith, hope, and love, 
To you I give my heart—Receive, Matilda, 
My last farewell. — My love !-**I go before thee $ 
But to expect thee in those realms of bliss 
Which Anselm promises.— -Cease, then, to weep f — 

Mat. Oh 1 these are tears which should with smiles 
be mingled ; 
For now, we are assurM to meet hereafter. 
With blest eternity before our eyeSi 
Death seems but absence of a few short days; 
(Wildly) My friend, thf love— 'my Adhel,-^I con* 

sent!' 
Be happy first l— £ t66 Sincerely love thee, 
To wish thee longer on this sorrowing earth, 
Or murmur at thy freedom ! 

Arch. (Joining their hands.) Christians, thus, 
Religion, Whkhonce parted, how permits me 
For ever to unite you. Malek Adhel, 
Go,- tM receive thy baptism's high reward : 
M<mnt to yon blest abodes, and there prepare 
The blte9-of this thy wife, whose teats below 
Will expiate tfefnes error*. 

M. Ad. Oh ! my father ? 
When I am gone, thdtt trilt project Matilda 5 
And I vf ouM thatfk thee f 6i thy pious cared—* 
But time pertoittf not— tor my feratittg str^ngtk 



104 MALBK ADHBL } THB Att III. 

\ 

Deserts me.— Father 1— may Matilda's God 
And thine, accept lhy soul ! Farewell, dear love ! 
Farewell,— but for a season, and thine Adhel 
Is thine, for ever ! [Die*. 

[A long pause, during tvhich Matilda and the 
Akchbishop contemplate, sorrowfully, the corpse 
of Male* Adhel. 

Arch. Peace, for ever peace, 
Departed hero, to thy noble soul ! 
Kind Heaven ! sanctify this virgin's grief ! 
Let her rejoice at all thy bounty gives,, 
Without regretting what thou tak'st away* 
Oh ! daughter of affliction ! raise thy head : 
Droop not beneath a weight of earthly sorrow. 
Daughter of Christ, thy mourning brings to Heav'n, 
Atonement of thy husband's sins : Thy tears 
Complete; perhaps, his punishment below. 
Complain not, then, of sufferings or tears : 
For him wilt thou not suffer willingly ? 

Mat. I will — I do ! I am resign'd to all! 

Arch. (After a pause.) Oh! leave this little earth, 
and raise thine eyes 
To yon unbounded space. See there, thy husband ! 

[Pointing upmrds. 

Mat. True, oh my father ! yet, he's also — here ! 
See this cold, livid corse mine arms encircle— 
It once was Malek Adhel ; and the heart 
Which beat for me so lately, beats no more ! — 

Arch. Daughter, these mortal relics, to the/earth 
Which claims them, now, must be restor'd. 



Scene I. champion of this crbscbnt. 105 

Mat. Ah no ! 
I never will restore them. Oh, dear husband ! 
I swear I will not quit thee.— When thou hVdst, 
Ah ! was I not enough divided from thee ? 
What fear they now ? — Am I still envied, then, 
The mournful pleasure of beholding thee,— 
Thine eyes in darkness clos'd ; thy pale, cold lips ? 
This, the sole blessing which remains to me— 
Why would their cruelty deprive me of it ? 

Arch. My child, one short hour past, didst thou 
not cry,— 
" Let him be sav'd, and I'll forbear complaint V* 
Behold, he now is sav'd, yet dost thou murmur. 

Mat. I murmur not. I weep, but I rejoice; 
Bless, and adore the great Creator's mercies : 
But never will I part from Malek AdheL 
These hands, alone, shall, o'er thy pallid face, 
The veil funereal spread, my lost, lost love ! 

[Sinks dotvn, her head Jailing on the bosom of 
Malek Adhbl. 

Arch. {Turning atvay, and contemplating the body 
at some distance.) How art thou fallen, glorious 

luminary, 
Son of the morning ! Thou'rt cut down to earth, 
Who didst affright— didst scatter wide the nations ! 
Ah ! to deplore the wounded unto death, 
Might my dim eyes become a source of tears 
That ceas'd nor night nor day !— What step is this ? 

[Returns to Matilda. 



K)6 MAUBK ADMBLj THE if* IIL 

Enter Kalbd. 

Kal. The Christians masters of the day j— our 
sultan 
Defeated, and withdrawing from the field ;— 
What arm could now redeem our heavy loss, 
Save thine, oh Malek Adhel ! Yet, 'tis rumour* d 
That thou art fall'n. What dost thou, Christian, 
there 1 [To the Archbishop, 

Hast thou depriv'd of fife the Crescent's champion I 

Arch, (Calmly resuming the Crucifix.) Rather, I 
deem that I have giv'n him life. 

Mat. (Rising, and placing herself between Kaleiv 
and the corpse.) Whoe'er thou art, approach not ! 

—Come not near-— 
Seek not to tear him from me ! 

Kal. Royal maid ! 
Is't thou } My master, then, is surely here. 

Mat. (Fearfully and wildly.) Ka}ed, I will not give 
him up to thee ! 
Thou wast his friend, I know it ; but no matte*— 
I'll never give him up to thee ! 

Kal. (Perceiving the corpse \ cat** himself on the 
ground beside it, amd strikes his head.) My prmed' ! 
My master— oh! my master! Isitthusy 
I*m doom'd again to see thetf > > 

Mat. Kaled, l&n<m, 
Thy master died my husband, and 111 die, 
Ev'n by my husband*s side. 



Scene I. CHAMPION OF thb crescent. 107 

Kal. (Rising, and pointing behind the scenes.) At 
risk of life, 
With yonder troop of horse I came, to seek 
If living, Malek Adhel $ or if dead, 
To Saladin, the precious, sad remains 
Of what was once his brother, to restore. 
Of right, they to our sultan must belong. — 

Mat. No ! they belong to me alone !— And, Kaled, 
If thou dost tear from me my husband, know, 
That I will follow to th* extremest verge 
Of the wide earth,— on foot I'll follow thee, 
And claim again, with screams, my husband's corse! 
[Sinks dotvn, and presses the hand o^Malbk Adhel 
to her heart. 

Kal. To the departed soul of Malek Adhel, 
Princess, I know that thou wert justly dear. 
Nor can I better honour his lov'd memory, 
Than by a prompt obedience to thy wishes 4 : — 
But we to Saladin have sworn to bring 
His brother's body 5 and we must obey him. 
Yet come thou with us ; come, illustrious Christian f 
The sultan, touch'd by thy severe distress, 
Will, sure, respect, in thee, the mourning widow 
Of Malek Adhel, and will not divide you. 

Mat. (Rising, and lowering her veil. ) 111 fly to ask 
it of hito. Thou, my father, 
Turn to the Christians — to the victor camp 
Return 5 and let me, here, fulfil a duty, 
Attending on my husband. 



i08 MALEK ADHBL ; THK Act HI. 

Arch. No, my daughter, 
I shall not quit thee. 

Kal. See, the sultan comes;— 
And unattended, to this place of woe* 

Enter Sal ad in. He walks frith a slow Step towards the 
body, kneels, and embraces it. 

Sal. My brother— Malek Adhel !— my sole friend'! 
And have I lost thee ? Is it truly thou ? 
Ah ! how shall Saladin support, without thee, 
The weight of empire > — Prince, thou'rt dead indeed ; 
And every virtue will, with thee, be buried ! 
(Rises*) Faith, justice, valour, generosity, 
Will leave the desolated earth to mourn, 
While cruelty and rapine take their place. 
Oh ! I shall not survive thee long !— In thee, 
The world hath lost its brightest ornament, 
The sky its light, the empire its defender, 
And Saladin his best— his only friend ! 

Mat. (Throwing back her *oeU % and prostrating herself 
at the feet o/'Saladin.) Of all that I was destin'd to 

possess 
On earth, oh pow'rful monarch ! nothing, now, 
Remains to me, save this pale corse.— -Oh sultan ! 
I do conjure thee, take it not away ! 
Conspire not, with my griefs, to ruin me ! 

Sal. (Greatly troubled.) What dost thou ask of me t 

Mat. I ask my husband ! 
The prince, before he died, embrac'd my faith. 



Scene I. champion of tub crescent. 109 

Receiv'd my marriage vow, and gave me his : 
Permit me, then, to pass my few short hours 
Of sad existence, by his coffin's side! — 
Give me, of Malek Adhel, what alone 
Remains of Malek Adhel, still, on earth. 
Lend, noble Saladin ! an ear of pity 
To the last pray'rs of a despairing wife ! 

Sal. (Raiting her tvith kindness.) Art thou indeed* 
my brother's wife ? 

Mat. (Bursting into tears,) Oh, Heaven I 
I was,. — I was ! Alas I I am no longer ! 

Arch. Great sultan, I bear witness of the truth j 
And know, that Malek Adhel died a Christian, k 
And died Matilda's husband. 

Sal. (After a pause.) Malek Adhel 
A Christian died ? What strange event is tins ? 
I know that Anselm would not stoop to falshood, 
Or should refuse it credit. Malek Adhel 
A Christian died ? — Oh ! fatal, fatal beauty !— 
Thou, who hast robb'd me of my brother, living, 
Hast caus'd his loss, and even after death, 
Hast snatch'd him from me — keep, still keep thy .hus- 
band, 
Since his last vows were thine. 

Mat. (Letting fall her veil.) Thanks, gracious sultan. 
Now have I nothing of the world to ask ; 
And soon shall I withdraw from it, for ever. 

Sal. Widow of Malek Adhel, where the spot 
Which thou hast chosen for the final rest 
Of these belov'd remains ? 



110 MAJLBK ADHBL; THE Act III. 

Mat. With me they go 
To Carmel's monastery— -last retreat 
Of grief eternal, soon to be my tomb. 
Oh ! there, more happy than on earth I hop'd, 
Near to my husband I shall live, and die. 

Arch. Oh ! noble sultan ! to the Christians grant 
Some days of truce, that they, with solemn pomp, 
Their rites of burial may in peace perform. 

Sal. Christian, I grant the boon, but, though I give 
You him, who gave himself, by his last vows; 
His murderer must be consign'd to me. 

Arch. The impious instigator of his murder,— 
Lusignan,-— fell, ev'n by the hero's hand, 
In single combat; and the sordid tool 
Of his iniquity, lives but to suffer 
The tortures of remorse, and late repentance. 

Sal. Still let him live to suffer. If 'tis so, 
■* I'm satisfied. — Oh ! there my brother lies ! — 

Take him, since he among your dead hath chosen 
His last abode ; and Kaled, --follow me. 

[Exit Saladix, followed by Kaled, each with slow 
steps, and sorrowful countenances. 

Mat. {Sitting down beside the body.) Peace to thine 
ashes, oh ! thou most belov*d ! — 
Peace, if it may be, to Matilda's soul ! 
Oh ! wherefore dost thou suffer yet, my soul, 
This mortal sadness ? Wherefore art thou plung'd 
In deep dejection thus } — Thy best-belov'd 
\ Hath ceas'd to mourn, ere now ; and, while thy weak- 

ness 



Scene I. champion of thb crescent. ill 

.Would call him back to earth, he tastes of joys 
Unspeakable, surpassing human thought, 
Ev'n in the bosom of felicity, 
To which high Heav'n hath, in its mercy, call'd him ! 



THB CURTAIN DROPS. 



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ARISTODEMUS; 



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ARISTODEMUS; 



OR, 



THE SPECTRE. 



A TRAGEDY. 



Xn dFtbe QLtte. 



From the Italian of the Abate Vincenzo Monti. 

HOST RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED, 

BY PERMISSION, 

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE 

THE COUNTESS OF PEMBROKE AND MONTGOMERY. 



12 






DRAMATIS PERSONA. 



Aeistodemus, King of Messenia, 
Lysander, Ambassador from Sparta, 
Palamedes, a Captive in Messenia. 
Gonippus, 
Eumjeus, 



| Friends of Aristodemus, 



Cbsira, a Captive in Messenia. 



The Scene ties in the Royal Palace of Messenia. 



ny 



ARISTODEMUS. 



ACT I. 

SCENE I. 

The Royal Pakce in Menem* 

Lysander and Palamedbs. 

Lys. Yes, Palamedes ; to Messenia's court. 
Doth Sparta send me, messenger of peace. 
Sparta is weary of these ceaseless wars : 
And now our laurels, dyed in patriot blood, 
Seem weighty to our brows ; nay, ev'n disgraceful! 
Wrath, now, subdued by pity — Reason rules j 
Persuading us 'tis worse than folly,— madness, 
Through a mean jealousy of foreign states, * 
To hew men piecemeal, and lay waste the earth* 
Since then, our foes have been the first to wish k, 
Peace, Sparta willing grants, and peace I bring. 
Nor this alone ; but freedom from the yoke, 
To all the sons of Sparta, here detain'd 
In slavery. Chief, to thee, beloved friend 1 , 

Who, still regretted and desir* d, hast languish'* 



118 AH1STODEM US ; OR, Act J. 

Three tedious years, within these hostile walls, 
A sad, unhonour'd, yet illustrious captive. 

Pal. Lysander, I with joy again behold thee. 
Yes 5 'twill to me be sweeter, from thy hands 
To welcome freedom, and return once more 
To meet th* embraces of my kindred friends, 
Amid the green Amyclse's pleasant shades. 
And yet kind fortune could not have reserv'd me 
A happier bondage, than I here experience. 
Thou art not ignorant, that, here, Cesira, 
Talthybius* beauteous daughter, also dwells 
My fellow-captive : now, moreover, learn, 
That, in the royal sight, such favour found 
The lovely features of the fair Cesira, 
Her gentle manners, and her modest speech, 
That, with a servile chain, Aristodemus 
Would never have her charg'd ; but rather, heaps 
Fresh favours, still, upon her ; giving me 
Permission so to share her prosperous fortune, 
That free I range, as now, the royal palace, 
At my own will. 

Lys. The king, then, Palamedes, 
Loves her ! 

Pal, He loves her with a father's heart 5 
And only when with her, the wretched man 
Feels in his breast infus'd, a few small drops 
Of joy, to soften the severe affliction 
Which ever weighs upon him. But for her, 
Np gleaming smile would e'er be seen t' illume 
His sad, and darksome countenance. 



Scene I. the spectre. 119 

Lys. Through Greece, 
Is this his mortal melancholy known -, 
Yet none assigns the cause. But here, methinks, 
That must be manifest, which, elsewhere, rests 
Profoundly secret. Kings have ever round them 
A thousand keen and vigilant observers, 
Who note each word, each look, each half-drawn sigh, 
Nay, sift their very thoughts. Here then, amidst 
So many prying eyes, what real source 
Hath been discover^, of his sadness i 

Pal. I, 
Without disguise, as 'twas to me imparted. 
Will tell this wretched prince's mournful tale. 
Messenia, <scourg'd by cruel pestilence, — 
The Delphic Oracle required a maid, 
Born of th' illustrious race of iEpy tus, 
In sacrifice to Pluto, to be slain. 
The lots were drawn, and nam'd Lyciscus* daughter: 
When, by an impious pity mov'd, her sire 
Snatch'd her, by secret flight, from threaten'd death. 
Another victim, the defrauded people 
Demanded. Then stood forth Aristodemus 5 
And his own lovely daughter, bright Dircea, 
Spontaneous offer'd to the priest. Dircea, 
Slain at the altar in the other's stead, 
Ev'n with her pure blood slak'd the greedy thirst 
Of dark Avernus > to procure the health 
And life of others, yielding up her own. 

%«. Thus far, I've heard before -, for loudly, fame 



Z**\ 



120 ARIflOMUf US ; OB, Ad I. 

Proclaimed around the fact \ and of her mother, 
Related too, a direful circumstance. 

Pal. Unable to support Dircea's death. 
And prompted by a grief that rose to madness, 
She her own bosom pterc'd, and headlong feU» 
A bloody, and disfigur'd corse—rejoining 
(A frantic, thus, and voluntary shade). 
Her daughter, in the empire of the dead. 
Yet this, of the heart-struck Aristodemus, 
Form'd but the second woe ; to which, * thud 
Succeeded, in the sad, untimely fate 
Of young Argia.— She, her father's last 
Remaining hope, (a lovely infant girl. 
Whose tender foot still trac'd uncertain steps) 
Scarce half a lustre had attairi*d» He, then, 
While closely to his bosom clasping her, 
Was wont to find the painful mem'ry soften'd 
Of his past sufferings ;•— find a father's name 
Lisp'd by her tongue* strike sweetly to his heart, 
And cheer his pensive brow. But brief his joy ; 
And ev'n this last remains of bliss soon vanished. 
For, suddenly, our armies gaining, then* 
Amphea's fatal day 5 and with fierce siege 
Threat'ning Ithome's steeps— Aristodemus, 
Who fear'd the city's seizure and destruction, 
Tore, from his fond paternal heart, his child, 
And to Eumeus* long-tried faith consign'd her, 
Bidding him bear her, safe, to Argos' walls. 
Long, first, toe waverM ; and with many prayers, 



Scene I. thespbctrb. -tti 

Committed to his trust a life so precious. 
Vain care!— >For there, where Ladon's stream com- 
mingles 
With fam'd Alpheus' flood, a troop of ours, . 
Warn'd of their flight, or thither urg'd by fate, 
AttackM and kilTd the guides 5 nor spar'd a life ; 
And 'mid the rest, the royal babe was slain. 

Lys. And know'st thou, Palamedes, nothing more 
Of that transaction ? 

Pal. Nothing more. 

Ly$. Then, know, 
Lysander was the leader of those bands— - 
Twas I attack'd Eumaeus. 

Pal. Hah ! is 't true ? 
Wast thou destroyer of the young Argia ? 
Here, were it ever known — 

Lys. Pursue thy tale. 
We'll find an after-time to talk of this. 

Pal. Aristodemus, by Argia' s fate, 
Heart-struck, now yielded all his soul to grief: 
Nor ever since, has aught of pleasure shone 
On his sad heart ; or gleaming there, 't has seem'd 
A lightning's flash, — which, momentarily, 
Shoots through the veil of night, and disappears. 
Still pensive, sad, he's seen to wander, now, 
'Mid solitary spots,— and tow'rds high Heaven, 
Heaves, from his inmost heart, deep sighs and groans* 
Now, frantic, heard to howl aloud, by name, 
Still calling his Dircea,-— at the foot 
Of her sad tomb, he, sobbing, casts himself, 



122 ARISTODKMU8 ; OR, Act I. 

And motionless remains, embracing it : 
So motionless, a statue thou mights* deem him, 
Did not the tears, which take their silent course 
Down his wan cheek, and stream upon the tomb, 
Proclaim him living. Such, Lysander, now, 
Is of this wretched king, the woeful state. 

Lys. Sad state indeed ! But be it what it may, 
It nought concerns me. I am hither come 
Sparta to serve, — not pity Sparta's foes. 
On this, th* important things I have to say, 
Must wait a fitter time 5 for now, behold 
Some one approaches, who might note our words. 

Pah Look : 'tis Cesira. 



SCENE II. 

Ces*ira, Lysander, and Palamedes. 

Fair Cesira, come ; 
Behold Lysander, the illustrious friend 
Of your renowned father. 

Ces. (to Lysander.) From Gonippus, 
Who bore, ev'n now, the tidings to the king, 
I learn'd, my lord, your coming 5 and in haste 
Have flown to meet you. Say, I pray, what news 
Bring you of my beloved sire ? How fares 
His venerable age ? 

Lys. The hope, alone, 
Of seeing thee again, preserves his life* 
Cesira, yes ; ev'n from the fatal hour, 



Scene II. the spectre. 123 

When sad Therapne's field beheld thee made 

A captive by the foe, a deadly weight 

Of grief, preys on him : fearing, still, for thee 

The ills of slav'ry, nought affords him comfort j 

And all his joy 's the sole, sad luxury 

Of the unhappy, — tears. 

Ces, He knows not yet, 
Aristodemus' generous mind ; knows not 
How lavish he hath been of bounties tow'rd me. 
Nor how, love, pity, gratitude — conspire 
To bind me to him, by a powerful tie ; 
So powerful, in truth, that, when I leave him, 
My heart will seem divided from my bosom. 

Lys. To this extent, dost thou, then, feel for him ? 

Ces. Alas ! his sorrows speak to every heart; 
And, more than all, to mine ! Nor can I tell thee, 
What I would give t' alleviate them, and learn 
All their sad, latent cause. 

Pal. To judge of that 
From signs external, it must be tremendous. 
Gonippus solely, — he, to whom he speaks 
Freely, his inmost thoughts,— -Gonippus only, 
Might wrest the dreadful secret from his heart* 

Ces. Behold Gonippus. — Oh ! how much disturb'd 
His looks ! what deep affliction clouds his brow ! 



i 

\ 
♦ 



\ 

* 






124 ARMTQDBMUS ; OR, Ad L 

SCENE in. 

Gonippus, Cesira, Lysandbk, and Palambdbs. 

Ah! why thus sad, Gonippus? Wherefore weep'st 
thou? 

Gon. Who would not weep } Aristodemus now, 
Hath reach'd to such excess of mental anguish, 
That it becomes distraction. Now he raves, 
Groans, sighs, — like leaves, too, shaken by the wind, 
His whole frame trembles. His wide-wand'ring eyes, 
Affrighted roll*; while on his cheeks, the tears 
Dry, lingering in their channels. The past hour 
In wild delirium spent, he quits, at length, 
His own apartments ; and desires again 
Here, to behold the cheering light of day. 
His grief free vent requiring, I beseech you 
All, to withdraw hence. 

Lys. When fit time shall serve, 
Recall, Gonippus, to thy lord's remembrance, 
That here, Lysander asks an audience $ 
And waits his summons only. 

Gon. Thou, with speed, 
Shalt be acquainted, when his pleasured known. 

SCENE IV. 

Gonippus, then Aristodemus. 

Gon* How vain the pomp and splendour of the 
throne! 
If closely viewed, what misery oft surrounds it ! 



Scene IV. thb spectre. 125 

Behold the greatest prince, the potentate 

Most dreaded throughout Greece, become so wretched, 

That, not to pity him, were savage sternness !— 

Advance, my lord. Here no one overhears us > 

And safely thou mayst vent thy bitter griefs. 

We are alone. 

Aru. Oh ! my Gonippus, fain 
Would I be hidden from all human sight ! 
Ay, hidden, if I could, ev'n from myself. 
All troubles, all disquiets me; lo ! too, 
Yon Sun himself, which I, awhile ago, 
So eagerly desir'd, I now detest, 
And cannot bear his light ! 

Qon. Nay, yet look up, 
Be not disheartened thus. Where, now, is flown 
The generous spirit of Aristodemus ?— 
His fortitude, his courage, where ? 

Arts* My courage? 
My fortitude ?— -I've lost them* I am even 
The hatred of high Heav'n ; and, when abhorrM 
Of Heav'n, ev'n monarchs are debas'd and vile* 
I once was happy, once, was powerful : now, 
I am the last, the lowest of mankind. 

Oon. Yet what to thee were needful, to confirm 
thee 
The first of mortals ? Plainly I perceive 
Some dreadful thought, which thou from me con- 

cealest, 
Has thus disturbed thy mind. 

Aru. Gonippttf, yes: 






126 ahlstodemus ; or, Act I. 

A thought most horrible.— -flow horrible, 
Thou ne'er canst guess. Thine eye can never pierce 
Within my heart: it cannot see the storm 
Which rages there, and lays waste all my soul ! 
Ah ! trusty friend ! Believe me most unhappy — 
Beyond all measure wretched -.—impious, 
Accurs'd, condemn*d ev'n by the wrath of Heaven ; 
Th' abhorrence both of nature and myself! 

Gon. Alas ! how strange a tumult of the mind ! 
Grief, sure, bedims thy reason ; and thy sadness 
Springs, simply, from derang'd imagination, 
Replete with fancied ills. 

Arii. Oh ! would it did ! 
But, dost thou know me? Know'st thou, too, what 

blood 
Is dropping from my hands ? — Hast thou beheld 
The sepulchres, wide-yawning, from their depths 
Send forth their spectres to o'erturn my throne ? 
Nay, with their hands thrust in my bristling hair, 
To wrest from me my crown ? Hast thou e'er heard 
A voice tremendous thundering around: 
" Die, die, accursed wretch ! " — Yes $ I will die : 

[Wildly. 
I'm ready. — Here's my breast,— my heart's warm 

blood : 
Shed, shed it all: be nature's cause aveng'd ; 
And save me from the horror of thy sight, 
Relentless shade I 

Gron. Thy words, in truth, appal me. — 
Too much thou'st said, to be misconstrued now: 



Scene IV. . the spectre. 127 

Thy soul, I see, is stung with fell remorse* 
How hast thou sinn'd ? What crime hast thou com- 
mitted 
T' inflame the Gods with so much wrath against thee? 
Unfold this mystery. — The fidelity 
Of thy Gonippus is well known to thee ; 
Oft hast thou honour'd him with confidence: 
Entrust him, now, with this ; for still, the weight 
Of ills is lessen'd by participation. 

Aris. Mine, by disclosure, would but be embitter'd. 
Seek not to penetrate their hidden source, 
Gonippus. — Tempt me not to break a silence— 
Ah ! leave, in pity, leave me ! 

Gon. Never, no ! — 
While thou maintain'st that silence. These white 

locks. 
And my long service, have not, sure, deserv'd . 
Distrust from thee ? 

Arts. But what is thy design 
In thus entreating ? For, the veil remov'd, 
Which hides this fatal secret, — horror, sure, 
Will strike thee dumb ! 

Gon. Ah ! what canst thou reveal 
Which yields not to the horror of beholding 
Thee, thus, expiring in my sight ? My lord ! 
I do beseech thee, by the tears I shed, — 
And by thy sacred knees which thus I clasp,— 
No longer torture me, — but speak ! [Kneeling. 

Arts. I will, 



V 



128 ARHTODBMUS ; OR, Act I. 

Since thou so earnestly entreat'st it — Rise. 
Oh Heaven! What a tale must I unfold 1 

[Draws a dagger from his bosom. 

Go*. Speak on ; — proceed.— What weapon ist thou 
grasp'st? 

Arts. A murd'rous steel. Inspect it Dost thou 
mark 
This blood congeal'd upon it ? 

Gon. Heav'n ! What blood ? 

Who shed it? 

Arts. From my daughter's heart it came ; 
And know'st thou, by what hand ? 

Gon. No more, no more ! 
Utter it not: — too well I understand thee ! 

Arts. But dost thou know the cause ? 

Gon. There, I'm perplex'd. 

Arts. Hear then. Remember thou hast wrung from 
me, 
The dread recital which will freeze thy veins. 
Hear me ; and learn the whole atrocious truth $ 
My mystery, and my crime. Recall to mind, 
That period, when the Delphic Oracle, 
For Erebus demanding human victims, 
A virgin of the race of i&pytus 
Was, from Messenia, claim'd in sacrifice. 
Thou wilt remember, by the fetal urn, 
Lyciscus' daughter, solemnly condemn'd, 
By flight was by her father sav'd* For her, 
Another maid must perish; and behold ! 



Scene IF. the spectre. 129 

A second time, assembling round the urn, 
Each parent trembled for his daughter's doom. 
Precisely then, Messenia's throne was vacant, 
Dost thou remember this ? 

Gon. I do. Moreover, 
I recollect, the royal diadem 
Was pending, at that time, between thyself, 
Damis, and Cleon : for the people's choice 
Suspended hung, 'mid three opposing factions. 

Arts. Well then, Gonippus : to secure the throne, - 
At once, and gain the people, hear the thought 
Which my unpitying, mad ambition fram'd. 
Let me (cried I within myself,) henceforth, 
To profit turn the weakness of mankind. 
The vulgar ever favour most, the man 
Who most can dazzle and deceive them 5 thus 
A kingdom oft rewards superior craft. 
Let me, then, cheat this senseless crowd, amending 
Lyciscus' error: let my daughter's blood 
Atone it: — be the people, and the crown, 
Both purchas'd by her blood. 

Gon. Ah, Heav'n ! — My lord, 
What say* st thou ? What could to thy mind inspire 
A project so atrocious ? 

Arts. Learn, Gonippus, 
The man who is ambitious, must be cruel. 
Between his views of greatness and himself, 
Place ev'n his father's and his brother's heads, — 
Beneath his feet he'll trample them 5 and make 
Of both, a footstool for himself to rise on. 

K 



130 ARISTODEMCS ; OR, Act h 

Such did I make my daughter; to the axe 
Of sacrificing priests, so did I proffer 
My child, Dircea. Then did Telamon, 
Dircea's lover, aim t' oppose my plan. 
He supplicated, threaten'd > yet, in vain, 
Essay'd to tear from me my fix'd resolve* 
Desperate, at length, while prostrate at my feet 
He fell, my pardon craving, he declar'd, 
Dircea could not now he sacrifiVd. 
A virgin's blood the oracle demanded; 
But she was near to claim a mother's title, 
While he confess'd a father's. To his aid, 
My wife, Argia came, and, to secure 
Belief from me, bore witness to the words 
Of Telamon. 

Gon. What didst thou then ? 

Aris. With rage 
I inly burn'd : and, goaded by the shame 
Of my insulted honour ; sharpened more 
By the defeat of my ambitious hopes, 
(Since, from my grasp,, I deem'd the kingdom torn j> 
Silent, on Telamon my angry eyes 
I fix'd, dissembling calmness, though my wrath 
To phrensy rose ; and sought my daughter's chamber. 
Stretch'd on her couch, I found her ; pale, perturb'd, 
Disconsolate ; — her eyes, with weeping weary, 
A languid lethargy awhile had clos'd. 
Gonippus,— ah t what wrath might not that sight 
Have soften'd I but wild rage mine eyes had seal'd > 
While indignation boil'd in every vein. 



Scene IV. the spectre. 131 

Whence (grasping this accursed steel,) all sense 
Of nature's shudderings, wholly quench'd within me, 
Furious, I rais'd — then, plung'd it in her breast. 
The hapless creature op'd her eyes ; she knew me : 
Quick cov'ring then her face, €€ My father, oh ! " 
She cried, " my father ! " — and she spoke no more. 

Gon. I freeze with horror — — 

Arts. To express thy feelings, 
Awhile forbear ; and thou ere long, Gonippus, 
Shalt find deep horror overwhelm thy soul. 
Now, agonizing in the grasp of death, 
Wounded, and panting still, the victim lay. 
With dying eyes she still appear'd to seek 
The light again 5 the last breath faintly play'd 
On her wan lip. — Meanwhile, the blood in torrents 
Gush'd from the wound, and flow'd beneath my feet. 
In the fierce transports of my unslak'd rage,— 
And of my crime, yet incomplete,— -convinc'd 
That she was guilty, with this steel I dar'd 
Lay open wide her dying frame. — Nay, dar'd, 
Amidst the hot smoke of her weltering corse, 
To seek her crime— oh ! she was innocent ! 

Gon. (after a pause.) Gods ! Could the Wildest fury 
so transport thee ? ' ' 

Aris. Ask not: — suffice it, she was innocent. — 
Then, from mine eyes the bandage fell 5 then, clear 
The fraud appear'd; and pity whelm'd my heart. 
Through all my shiv'ring veins, cold horror ran j J 
Nay, even seem'd to petrify the tears 
That rested on my cheeks. Congeal'd I stood, — 

k 2 



192 ARI3TODKMU8 f OR, Act I. 

Until her mother, entering suddenly, . 
Beheld the direful spectacle. Awhile, 
Pale, cold, and mute, she gaz'dj then, desp'rate 

rush'd, 
Swift as the winged lightning, grasp'd the poniard, 
Which, from my nerveless hand, had falTn to earth, 
And, piercing her own bosom, fell, in death 
Extended by her murder'd daughter's side. % 
Behold the fetal end of both. Behold 
The mystery, which fifteen years have seen 
Entomb'd within my heart ; which, but for thee, , 
Were buried still, within it. 

Go*. Thou hast told, 
In truth, a fearful tale 5 and thy narration 
Has with such horror ehiU'd my freezing veins, 
That from the bare thought, all my soul recoils !" 
Yet, tell me, how have scenes so terrible 
Been, still, conceal'd from all enquiring eyes ? 

Arts. Be not at this surprised. My name was great, 
My name was dreaded too j and, to the throne, 
The general suffrage, at this period, call'd me. 
Twas easy, then, t' effect a fraudful purpose ; 
For, well thou know'st, the shadow of a throne 
Spreads wide, to cover crimes. The feeble priests, 
(Who are constrained the voice of Heav'n itself 
To hide in silence, when the law of force 
Speaks from the lips of power) alone, and silent, 
Beneath the fav'ring shade of night, convey'd 
Within the precincts of the sacred fane, 
The dead Dircea: raising th^us, belief 



Scent IV. THE SPBCTRS. 133 

That she, upon the altar slain, that night, 
Had, with her blood, appeas'd th* offended gods. 
Her virgin frame they shew'd, to falsify 
The base and wide-spread fraud of Telamon $ 
Adding, that heart-struck by Dircea's fate, N 

Her mother had, in phrensy, slain herself. 
But o'er the wicked, still, the eyes of Heaven 
Are vigilant 5 and there is, sure, a God, 
Who, from the tomb itself, will rouse to life, 
From their long sleep, the crimes of guilty men, 
v Thund'ring their cry ev'n on their impious hearts. 
Shall I divulge it ? — I, some time, have been 
By a tremendous spectre 

Gon. (interrupting,) Leave, ah! leave 
The fear of spectres to the vulgar herd ; 
And seek not from their graves to raise the dead. 
Think, for thy comfort, that thy keen remorse 
May lessen, in the sight of Heav'n, thy crime. 
Be calm ; give place to thoughts of greater moment. 
I have already told thee, that Lysander, 
Th 9 ambassador from Sparta, is arriv'd, 
And brings us terms of peace. Hear him 5 reflect, 
It is thy country that entreats this peace 5 
And that her walls, and her few torn remains 
Of devastated empire, recommend it. 

Arts. Then shall my country be obey'd. Come hence. 

[Exeunt, 

END OP ACT THE FIRST. 



134 AK1STODKMUS ; OR, Act II. 



ACT II. 

SCENE I. 

Lysander and Palambdbs. 

Pal. How strange a tale is this ! I'm so replete 
With wonder, that I feel as in a dream ! 
Cesira, — daughter of Aristodemus ? 

Ly$. Speak lower. — Yes, Cesira is his daughter ; 
His lost, his long-deplor'd Argia. How, 
On Ladon's banks, I took her prisoner, 
Three lustres sinoe ; and how compassion, then, 
For the poor innocent, o'ercame me, I 
Already have inform'd thee : I proceed 
To tell thee, that,— designing to employ her 
Against Aristodemus 9 self, should need 
Require, — I, to my friend Talthybius, gave 
In charge to rear. her $ binding him, by oath, 
Ne'er to divulge her birth. He rear'd, and lov'd her 
As she had been his qwn: he was reputed 
Her father, and took pleasure in the name: 
And, though he had it npt.by nature, love 
Entitled him to bear it. 

Pal. Has Cesira 
Suspected aught of this ?. , 

Lys. Nay 5 never aught. 



"Scene I. THB SPJBCTRE. 135 

Pal. But what became, then, of Bumaus,-— he 
Who bore the babe in charge? 

Lys. A prison held 
Eumseus, safely ; for 'twas my intent, 
In him, a witness of the truth to keep, 
And call for, at my need. I, therefore, spar'd him, 
Not through compassion, friend, but policy* 

PaL And lives he still ? 

Lys. I know not: for the duties of the field 
Have held me long remote from Sparta's walls. 
But well, ere this, Talthybius knows, who sbar'd 
Throughout, my confidence unlimited. 

PaL Strange tale ! — But wherefore, to the injury 
Of these unhappy beings, wouldst thou, now, 
With fruitless caution, still, the secret hide? 

Lys. Nay, 'tis a secret useful to the hate 
Of Sparta ;— useful to her deep-laid schemes 
Of policy 5 and comes, at once, in aid 
Of universal vengeance. Gall to mind,— 
Aristodemus is our greatest foe. 
The valleys of Amphea, yet, are red 
With our best blood, shed by his vengeful sword : 
The Spartan widows, weeping still, deplore 
Their husbands slain ; while, by his hand transpiere'd, 
At once, a sire, and brother, I bewail. 

PaL He slew them, bravely, in an equal field : 
Not like a base assassin. 

Lys. Wouldst thou have me 
For this, forgive him, or abhor him less ? 

Pal. Abhor him? Wherefore? — Pardon me; I too, 



J 36 ARiSTODMIUS} OR, Act II. 

Well recollect the slaughter ; and the flames 

Of our paternal roofs: and still, methinks, 

I see Aristodemus, 'mid the fires, 

Tread my slain children's bodies in the dust : 

Yet, not for this, do I abhor him 5 since,— 

Possess'd of power,—! had myself, 'gainst him, 

Shewn equal enmity 5 but rather, 1 

Feel grateful tow*rds him, who so kindly freed 

From me, my chains, as from a friend ; and truly, 

I should ev'n love him, were I not a Spartan, 

And he Messenian born. 

Ly$. 'Us evident, 
That slavery has corrupted, in thy mind, 
Its pristine, strict, and vigorous sentiments. 
But though thy thoughts have changed, so have not 

mine: 
Within my heart, if any virtue dwell, 
Assur'dly, 'tis not pity for my foes. 
For ill should 1 esteem I serv'd my country, 
Did I, forgetful of th' imperious duty 
Of every Spartan soul, through weak affections, 
Betray her cause. 

Pal. Is pity, then, a weakness } 

Lys. If to our country prejudicial, 
Tis more ; —-disgraceful and unjust. — But see, 
Cesira comes. — Retire we hence. More safely, 
We elsewhere may converse. I'd have thee know 
The whole importance of this mystery. 



[Exeunt. 



Scene II. the i spectre. 137 



SCENE II. 

-Gonippus and Cesira. 

Gon. They'll talk of peace j but the result, Cesira, 
Who, of this singular discourse, may tell ? 
The vulgar eye transpierces not the depth 
Of kingly thoughts. To govern and dispose 
Is, still, the sov'reign's part : 'tis ours t' obey. 
Yet hope 1 peace ; and peace, I'm well assur'd, — 
Provided Sparta with discretion seek it, — 
Aristodemus wishes, and will grant. 

Ces. Alas ! I know not why, I rather fear it ; 
And feel my soul divided in its choice. 
To Sparta, now, a mourning father calls me ; 
Now, in Messenia, pity for the fate 
Of sad Aristodemus, bids me stay. 
And, should I be oblig'd to leave him — Ah ! 
Heav'n knows how painfully 'twijl wring my heart ! 
What secret, sweet intelligence exists, 
Through which his mournful features won my soul 
I cannot comprehend ; but, more than these, 
Methinks, his very misery binds me to him. 
I only know, that, when remote from him, 
My days will be disconsolate and sad. 

Gon. And dost thou deem that, losing thee, his days 
^Vill be more joyous ? Oft have I observ'd 
The wretched king, when by thy side, t* appear 
Forgetful of his sorrows. Often, too, 



138 AU1STODBMUS ; OR, Ad II. 

A word, a smile of thine, has had the power 
To calm the tempests that lay waste his soul, 
And render life itself less painful to him. 
Judge then, what anguish will attend thy loss ! 

Ccs. See, he approaches -, and his looks, methinks, 
Speak, somewhat more compos*d, his spirit. 

Gon. True. 
He comes a conference of peace to hold j 
A subject to discuss, whereon depends 
The kingdom's welfare : — and, when cares so weighty 
Demand his thoughts, all other cares give place. 

. SCENE III. 

* 

Aristodemus, Gonippvs, and Cksira. 

Aris. Let the ambassador from Sparta come. 

[Exit Gonippu.s. 

SCENE IV. 

Aristodbmus and Cksira. 

Aris. If fate propitious smile on me, this day, 
The long-protracted enmity, Cesira, 
Of Sparta and Messenia shall have end j 
And we, once more, shall welcome peace. But yet, 
The first-fruits of such peace will bring, to me, 
A taste of bitterness ; since I must lose thee, 
And here in sickness, and in grief remain, 
While thou shalt, gladly, wing thy flight, to seek 
The walls of Sparta, long desir'd in vain. 



Scene IV. the spectre. 139 

Ces. This proves, thou dost not read my heart 5 but 
Heaven 
Both reads, and comprehends it. 

Arts. Generous maid! 
Wouldst thou, indeed, with willingness remain ? 
Couldst thou sincerely wish it? Ah! forgett'st thou, 
Thy father, who, while anxiously awaiting. 
Lives but in the fond hope of seeing thee ? 

Ces* My father lives for ever in my heart : 
But thou art also here 5 [Laying her hand on her heart. 

and still, for thee, 
This heart pleads warmly, telling me, that thou 
Hold'st ev'n superior right : a right, thou claim* st 
From my true gratitude, from thy misfortunes, 
My pity, — and another fond sensation, 
Which agitates my soul 5 and yet remains 
Ev'n to myself, inexplicable. 

Arts. Yes: 
Our hearts, indeed, hold sympathy together ; 
But, to thy father, and to him alone, 
Thou ow'st these tender sentiments, Cesira. 
Return to him ; and be his comfort still. — 
Happy old man ! I cannot number thee 
'Mid those, whom Heav'n 'has, in its wrath, made 

fathers, 
But to chastise them. . Thou wilt have, at least, 
One who may close thine eyes 5 and thou wilt feel 
In death, thy cheeks warm'd by a daughter's kisses, 
And water'd by her tears. — While I— Oh, Heaven ! 
Hadst thou, but left her to me !— *even I 



MO ARISTODKMUS ; OR, Ad IL 

My hopes might also flatter with like bliss, 
And bury all my sufferings in her arms ! 

Ces. How ! Of whom speaks my lord ? 

Arts. I speak, Cesira, 
Of my Argia. Pardon, that so oft 
I call her to remembrance. Well thou know'st, 
In her, my last, my dearest hopes were centred 
Of consolation, in my wane of life. 
Methinks I see her, even now : her form 
Imagination cruelly portrays j 
And while, in thee, I fancy I behold her, 
With trembling, and with palpitating heart, — 
Heav'n mocks my fruitless fondness. 

Ces. Wretched father ! 

Aris. Still had she liv*d, her years had equaled 
thine: 
Nor had, perchance, her charms and virtues bloom'd 

To thine inferior. 

i 

Ces. 'Twas a fatal step, 
Indeed, my lord, the sending her to Argos ; 
The peril of her capture unforeseen. 

Aris. Yes ; 'twas a fetal step : a foolish prudence. 
Ah ! was not the unhappy babe with me, 
Sufficiently secure ? A safer shield 
Can children have, than the parental breast ? 

Ces. Oh! wherefore has Heav'n torn her from 
thee? 

Aris* Heaven 
Design'd the full completion of my woes. 

Ces. Still did she live, would it content thee fully? 



t 



Scene V. the spectre. 141 



» 



% 



Arts. Cesira, one embrace of hers, — one sole v 

Embrace, and I were happy. 

Ces. Would to Heaven , 
I, then, were she ! 

Arit. Ah ! if thou wert — My daughter ! 

Ces. Call'st thou me, daughter? 

Arts. Yes -, that name, my heart 
Impell'd my lips to utter. 

Ces. And my heart, 
With like affection, bids me call thee, father. 

Arts. Yes, yes ; still call me father. — In that name, 
A charm I find, a sweetness, that transports me. 
Fully to taste the pleasure it affords, 
'Twere needful to have drain'd, as I have done, 
The bitter chalice of calamity ; 
The pangs of nature to have felt, — and keenly ! 
One's children to have lost, and lost for ever ! < 

Ces. (aside.) He breaks my heart. \ 



SCENE V. 

Aristodemus, Cesira, and Gonippus. 

Gon. My lord, the orator 
Of Sparta comes. 

Arts. Oh, Heav'n! in what a moment 
Does he surprise me ! — Go, and leave me, both. 
Farewell, Cesira $ we shall meet again. 



142 * ARISTODKMUSj OR, Ad II. 

SCENE VI. 

Manet Aristodbmus. 

Arts. Awake, arouse thee, now, my dormant virtue ! 
Behold, at stake, the welfare of our kingdom j 
Whence it, at once, behoves us to maintain 
Our rights, and satisfy our people's wishes. 
Yes! to command, be 't now, the subject's part; 
And be 't the king's, t' obey. But, like a king, 
Let him obey: nor let Aristodemus 
Be seen to crouch, a timorous supplicant 
For peace, from hostile hands. Nor breathe my words 
The servile spirit of peace ; as, in his heart, 
Doubtless, this haughty Spartan deems they will. 

. SCENE VII. 

Aristodemus and Lysander. 

Arts. Lysander, sit $ and freely now, impart, 
Be they of adverse or of friendly scope, 
The views of Sparta. 

Lt/8. To Messenia's king, 
Sparta sends health ; and peace, if he desire it 

Arts. Peace I demanded $ it is, therefore, clear, 
That I desir'd it. And I now, with joy, 
Hear that, at length, of strife and slaughter weary, 
Sparta, desisting from an unjust war, 
Seeks to renew our ancient amity. 



Scene VII. the spectre. 143 

Lys. How ! unjust war ? Call you that war unjust, 
Which aims t' avenge an injury sustained ? 
Your subjects, with the blood of Teleclus, 
Polluted the Limnean sacrifices ; 
And Teleclus, (you know it,) was our king. 
From this, and from no other source, have sprung 
Our long contentions. This, my lord, remember. 

Arts. Nay, I on this have purposely been silent, 
Only to spare thee shame. Say now, Lysander, 
Where learn'd the great Alcides' generous sons 
Meanly to skulk, disguts'd in female robes ; 
And basely plot the death of my Messenians ; 
Who then, in all the confidence of peace, 
With hymns, with dances, and with festal rites-, 
Around the sacred altar were assembled ? 

Lys. That tale, full oft, hath diff 'rently been told : 
Neither is Sparta so devoid of worth, 
That, purposing destruction to her foes, 
By making war, she need descend t' adopt 
TV unworthy medium of a base pretext. 

Arts. 'Tistrue; while Sparta deems herself possessed 
Of pow'r superior, she but ill maintains 
Her dignity, employing base pretexts, — 
When contests are decided by the sword, 
Justice and truth become an useless plea, 
If not injurious ; nor, indeed, is justice 
The virtue Sparta boasts ; but despotism 
Adroitly veiTd beneath the modest cloak 
Of liberty. 'Tis hence, your policy 
T* avoid the path of honour, if it seem ' 



144 ARISTODKMUS; OR, Ad II. 

To lead to aught that hurts yourselves j and fly 
With ready zeal, to profitable crimes. 

To sow dissension, still, 'mid neighbouring states, 

•j 

And, when division has impaired their strength, 
T' attack them suddenly, and, more betray'd 
Than conquer'd, drag them to a servile yoke. 
And thus, all Greece ye would subdue. In truth, 
A noble art is this, of conq*ring empires ! 
And dare ye boast yourselves, for other states, 
A bright example ? Of the fam'd Lycurgus, 
Are you the fellow-citizens ? Did he 
These laws bequeath to you ? — Away ! Strip off 
These pompous seemings. To the eyes of men, 
Shew fewer laws, and more substantial virtues : 
Yes $ let faith, honour, justice, henceforth reign 
£v*n among you, degen'rate sons of Sparta ! 

by$. Sire, clemency still reigns among her sons> 
And what, were it not so, would be your fate ? 
Already are the rocks and tow'rs, that crown'd 
The heights of burnt Ithome, laid in ruins. 
And should all-conqu'ring Sparta further urge 
Her triumph, what Divinity defends you ? 

Arts. Aristodemus.*— And, while still he breathes, 
He will suffice alone : and when the grave 
Receives him, still, his silent ashes there 
Shall, ev'n in death, strike terror to your hearts. 

Lys. Deem you, my lord, that they who fear you not 
Alive, will fear you dead ? — But, if we meet 
To parley of offence alone, I've done. 
To Sparta I return j and 1 will warn her, 



Scene VII. thbspectrb. 145 

Not yet to sheathe the sword j but challenge, here, 
Her few remaining foes. , [Rises. 

Arts. (Rising.) Return to Sparta, 
Ev'n what thou wilt 5 but warn her yet, at least, 
That, to subdue those few remaining foes, 
She, first, must breathe awhile ; and with fresh blood, 
Her empty and exhausted veins replenish. 

Ia/s. Less will she need, than now, Messenia asks, 
To heal the wounds which, weeping, she deplores. 

Arts. Grant that Messenia weep ; 'tis not less true, 
That Sparta does not smile. 

Ia/s. Yet, Sparta's pride 
Stoops not to sue for peace. 

Arts. I sued for peace. 
And now, let Sparta tremble, lest, repentant, 
1 should reject it. Well she knows, the arms 
Of Elis, Argbs, Sicyon, prop my cause. 
She knows how ardent a desire of vengeance 
Inflames Messenian breasts ; how keen our swords, 
How strongly-nervM our arms. She knows, full well, 
That various are the fortunes of the field : 
She well remembers, that, when she o'ercame us, 
Fraud, more than valour, ever won the day. 
Lysander, this the sum of Sparta's mercy :— 
Peace to concede, and boast of clemency, 
Through fear, alone, of being foil'd in war. 

Lys. For war declare, then. 

Arts. 1 declare for peace. 
And thank your Gods, that so I fix my choice. 
Oh, yet, had it been true ! — But come;— once more 



146 ARIfTODKJMJft ; or, Act II. 

Let us be friends,— [7*key **' ogain, 

be brothers; and forgetting 
Our past dissensions, sheathe the angry sword. 
Shall human wrath eternally endure > 
Have we from Heav'n received the gift of life, 
Only to hate and massacre each other } 
Did Nature, from the bosom of the earth. 
Bid us the iron tear, that man might pierce 
His fellow's breast, and make it so, the tool 
Of human slaughter, and inhuman crimes ?— 
Unless we shortly terminate our wars, 
Both Sparta and Messenia will be deserts. 
Nor will there aught remain, ere long, in either, 
Save wretched bands of widows and of orphans. 
An4 what, meanwhile, says Greece, of our dissensions? 
She says : The horrible atrocities 
Of Thebes, we're now renewing $ that, the Spartans, 
With our Messenians own the self-same blood $ 
That, Thebes, two fratricides alone disgrac'd; 
But here,4hey are as num'rous as the corses 
With which our savage fury strews the field. 
And wherefore all this rage ? But for a few 
Parch'd clods of earth, which barely will suffice 
T afford us sepulture ; — which yet, are crihiflon'd 
With fathers' and with brothers 9 blood, of whoto 
Ourselves are the assassins.— *Ah ! let Greece 
No longer tell, of us, such tales of shame ! 
Or, if fame move us not, at least, let interest. 
Proud Thebes and jealous Athens, by our side, 
Of our protracted contests, wait th' event, < 



Seem VII. ' TiuitPBCTBB. I4f 

To fall upon the wearied conqueror; 

Strip him of victory ; and overthrow 

His rising greatness. Now, while in our power, 

Let timely peace prevent these threatened ilia* 

1a/s. Or to accept, or to reject it, lies 
Entirely at thy choice. 

Arts. It first were .needful^ 
To hear the terms propos'd. 

Lys. They're briefly these : 
" Amphea you shall cede, with tbb Tayowtui $ 
And comb no mors to hold tour feasts inLim Bfrja." 

Arts. The first and second articles, I grant; 
The third reject j moreover, ask, what cause 
Excludes us, thus, from Limnae's solemn leasts, 
And robs us of the Deity's protection I 

Lys. The first spark of a war, which thirtjr years 
Of bloodshed, have not yet suffiVd t* extinguish, 
Broke forth, amid the feasts of Limnav There, 
Will burst the second, if Hie cause be not 
With speed remov'd. 'Tis therefore, needful, since 
Such wrath still burns between us, to cut off _ 
That perilous communication. 

Arts. Know 
That, by disgraceful means, Aristodemus 
Stoops not to purchase peace. Our wealth, our 

honours, 
Our lives, our children, all we own, in short, 
May be surrender'd j but the Gods, Lysander ?—*. 
The tutelary Gods, the long-rever'd 

12 



146 ARISTOIMBMUS; OR, Act 1L 

Religion of our fathers, and the chief 
Of all our duties and affections ? — 

I#s* Add, 
Chief of oar errors, too. I to a man, 
Am speaking, who would scorn to be enslav'd 
By vulgar prejudices. To a warrior, 
I speak, who smiling with eoatempt, beholds 
These Gods, (mere shadows rais'd by human fear,) 
And rests, meanwhile, his hand upon his sword. 
How far, till now, by this Limnesn God, 
We have been profited, I'm yet to learn ; 
But this, full well, I know: that, in times past. 
He hath much injured us ; and will, yet more, 
If haply now, another, greater Power, 
Nam'd Prudence, in a seasonable time, 
Diminish not his votaries and victims. 

Arts. Frank speech I'll frankly answer. Hitherto, 
So little have the Gods befriended me, 
That I, too surely, cannot boast their favour, 
Yet, do I not presume to scorn their power. 
I have, within my heart, full many a reason, 
Secret and forcible, whereby I'm urgM 
Both to adore and fear them. If, thy self, 
Thou own'st a motive for acknowledging, 
Own, also, one for venerating them. 
If thou hast none, respect the people's error $ 
Awful not less, than are the Gods themselves, 
Since ft gives law to kings, and none obeys. 
Your own example, too, I here may cite : 



Scene VII. ths spsctrb. I4g 

Elis, erewhile, from the Olympic games, 
<As all well know,) would have excluded you : 
What tumults rose among you, on this insult ! 
With what preparatives of arms, — what wrath, 
Did ye oppose yourselves to this repulse] 
And yet, th' offence was widely different. 
In her own state did Elis exercise, 
Her own undoubted right ; while Sparta fought 
For a Divinity not hers. But here, 
At once, for our hereditary temples, 
And for our Gods domestic, do we fight 
Ours is the soil, the altars ours ; and know 
That, to preserve them, still, untouched, we'll fight 
While we have arms and hands ; and, these cut off, 
Well combat with our breasts : for where War lifts 
The standard, in Religion's name, will men 
Fight hoodwink'd, while to rage ev'n pity turns- 
Such rage, that life is yielded ere the sword. 
No more. If Sparta seek a solid peace, 
The chief foundation of such peace be this : — 
To leave to us our Gods. If she contest it, 
Return we to hostilities. 

Lys. Not so. 
Turn We our thoughts to peace. I glory not 
In obstinate adherence to my purpose : 
That is the weakness of inferior minds ; 
And great enough I dare esteem myself, 
T 9 allow, to thee, the undiminished honour 
Of having vanquish'd and persuaded me. 

234 



150 ARISTODEMUS* OR, Ad If. 

Away, then, with our claims to Limne. Yet, 
Declare if, to the other terms we offer, 
You willingly subscribe, my lord ? 

Arts. I do. 
Behold, in pledge, my hand. Remains there, now, 
Aught else to be requir'd of me? 

Lys. Nought else. 

Arts. Farewell Lysander, then. 

Lys. Aristodemus, 
I take my leave. Farewell. [Exeunt severally. 



BKD OF ACT THE SBC0ND. 



\ 



Scene I. thb sfecthb. im 



ACT III. 

SCENE I. 

A .Tomb in the distance, and Aristodrmus seated 

beside it. 

Arts. No, no ; were mine existence here eternal, 
I feel that equally eternal, still, 
Would be my mental anguish. Give me, Heav'n ! 
But courage to endure it. Tempt not thou 
My hand, nor dim my reason* — Wretched man ! 
What have I said ? My reason ? — What, if *t were 
My best of hope, to lose it altogether? 
What, if a single stroke might terminate 
Mine every ill ? — Yes, all my sufferings, 
One, single stroke? — Let me avoid that thought: 
Let me not dwell upon it -, for, already, 
Tis too seducing to my heart. And thou, 
Importunate and too remorseless shade! 
At length be pacified ! — oh! be appeas'd, 
And pardon me ; for I, however guilty, 
May plead a father's name. My crime was great ; 
I know it 3 but I am a father, still $ 
And thou a daughter,— thou, who dost torment, 
And persecute me, y?\th such ceaseless rage. 



152 AHISTODBMU6 ; OB, Ad III. 



SCENE II. 

Aristodemus and Gonippus. 

Gon. My liege, this is no time to nourish grief; 
When all Messenia testifies her joy 
For the return of peace. Come hence, then ; leave 
This place of woe, and seek with me, the people. 
Present thyself to their exulting sight ; 
For they demand their king ; they pine to see thee, 
And call thee, father. 

Arts. I, a father ?— Once, 
I own'd that name ; and, with delight, I heard it 
Sound ev'n within my heart. But now, no more 
I hear it. Nature gave to me that name. 
So dear, so sacred ; and mine own mad rage 
Hath 'reft me of it 

Gon. Dwell no longer, then, 
Upon thy loss ; and let new objects, now. 
Engage thy thoughts. 

Arts. And yet, at times, I seem'd 
Not wholly to have lost that soothing name. 
And often, by the young Cesira's side, 
Have I again, in thought, become a father. 
Whether it be, that, hearts like mine unhappy, 
Feel, still, a mournful need to speak their sorrows, 
Yielding themselves, with ease, to the relief 
And pleasure of indulging their affliction ; 
Or whether, of my now declining years, 
And sick, desponding state, the dread effect ; 



Scene II. the spbctre. 153 

Or of sensations, hitherto unknown, 

Which deeply make me feel my childless state, 

And wake, so keenly in my breast, the wish » 

To be again a parent ; — whether, even 

The strange emotions I acutely feel, 

Yet cannot comprehend, be doom'd my scourge, 

By an avenging, and an unseen God : 

This will I own to thee, that, when with her, 

The horror of my suff 'rings seems to cease ; 

And a sweet, silent joy beguiles my sense ; } 

Whose gentle influence, stealing through my soul, 

Calms its remorse, and draws the gushing tears 

From my heart's deep recesses to mine eyes. 

Now, shortly, shall I be depriv'd, Gonippus, 

Ev'n of this dear illusion. 

Gon. If thou deem'st it 
For thine advantage, that Cesira here 
Remain,— still interpose to her departure 
Some motive for delay $ and send meanwhile, 
T entreat it of Talthybius 

Arts. Canst thou think, 
That her despairing father, he, to whom 
So little life remains,— enough indeed, 
Alone, t' embrace his daughter ere he die,— 
Canst thou believe, that he would e'er consent ? 
Ah ! thou wast ne'er a father !— kiost not feel 
The charm, the value of so fond a name ! 
And wouldst thou have me so forget its force ? 
So purchase to myself a satisfaction, 
Plunging another in despair ?— Ah, no ! 



154 ARISTODBMUSj OR, Ad III* 

Let dear Cesira go: yes, let her hence >— 
And if it can be, without seeing me, 

[EmU Goviffvs. 



SCENE HI. 

Aristodemus and Cbsira. 

Ces. Go, without seeing thee !— -Ah ! from thy lips, 
Issued so harsh a mandate ? 

Arts. Wherefore com'st thou, 
Dear, filial object of a wretch's love ) 
Avoidance mutual had been, surely, best ; — 
And best, to shut for ever, from our eyes, 
The mournful pleasure which our meeting gives. 

Ces. Oh ! who could so resign it ) How should I 
Far from my benefactor go,—- nor see, 
Nor thank him j nor with him exchange the sighs 
Of bitterness at parting r Mutually, 
To give and to receive the last adieu. 
Mingles such sweetness in the cup of grief, 
Such moments are delightful. 

Arts. All delight 
Hath ceas'd for me. Market thou yon marble tomb ? 
My peace, my very heart are there enclosed ; 
And there, lies all I have on earth most dear, 
At once, and most tremendous. 

Ces. I, my lord, 
Do not presume to blame your heartfelt grief; 
Tis nature's law, and therefore it is just : 



Scent HI. tub spbctrb. 155 

But, o'er the much-lov'd ashes of their children, 
Shall parent's tears for ever flow 1 

Arts. For me, 
It were not much, ev'n were my tears eternal. 
Still, therefore, let me shed them. Tears, my daughter, 
Befit my state. They are the only virtue 
Which hath remain'd to me ; the only comfort 
Which the avenging wrath of Heav'n hath left me. 
Ces. Judge better. Heav'n respects, in thee, the 
virtue ' 

Of a good father, citizen and king, 
Such as thou still hast been. 

Arts. (After a pause.) Good father?— -I ? 
Good citizen ? 

Ces. Is not he such, in troth, 
Who, movM by generous patriotism, yields up 
In willing sacrifice t f appease the Gods, 
His very children, at his country's need ? 

Arts. (Aside.} Oh Heav'n ! What dread events does 

she recall ? 
Ces. And gives them, torn from his paternal arms, 
Ev'n to the fatal sacerdotal axe ? 

AHs. Hush, prithee, hush ! Thine every word's a 
sword 
That stabs my heart. 

Ces. But here, thou hast not cause 
For being sad. Remembrance, such as this, 
Is glorious, noble, great ; and, from a father, 
Rather than grief, asks proud complacency. 
Arts. (Aside.) Oh torture!— madness ! 



156 aristodemus ; or, Ad III. 

Ces. Let the consciousness 
Console thee, then, of this thy virtue; which,— 
Despite of time and fortune, — ne'er can die ; 
And with it, for thy comfort, still, recall 
Thy subject' s love, thy glory, and thy kingdom. 

Arts. What sayst thou ? Kingdom ? Of all human ills, 
That is the greatest. Oh! if, from the dust, 
Man might interrogate the crowned slave 
Upon the throne, thou then wouldst be convinc'd 
That, solely fpr our punishment, full oft, 
Doth Heav'n inflict on us a crown and sceptre ! 

Cc$. And yet, the regal diadem is oft 
The bright reward of virtue $ 'twas, most surely, 
Such, when it bound thy brow. 

Arts. {Aside.) Ah! break we off 
A conference that kills me ! (Aloud.) Much, Cesira, 
Thy faVring judgment honours me j but thou— 
Thou know'st me not. Enough. I too— ev'n I 
Have, of a throne, become the proud possessor : 
But happy were I, had I ne'er attain'd it ! 
Oh ! blest is he, ten thousand, — thousand times, 
Who, o'er his guileless family, alone, 
Desires to reign; and asks no other throne 
Than his fond children's hearts ! The throne of nature ; 
And oh ! from mine how different ! Mine, thou see'st, 
Is this sad stone. Allow me, then, to sit 
Here, all alone, here weep j and go thou hence, 
Cesira, — and be happy. 

Ccs. In this state, 
Must I, then, leave thee ? — in this wretched state ? 



Scene III. the spectre. I57 

Aris. I'm worthy of it. Tis at length arriv'd, 
The hour when we must separate 5 and never 
Again behold each other, — never more ! 
Thou weep'st, my. daughter! my Cesira, yes, 
Thou weep'st to hear this. Oh ! may pitying Heav'n 
Reward thy pious tears ! 

Ces. This grief e'en kills me. 

Aris. Farewell.— With kindness to thy father's 
thoughts 
Recall me. Happy father ! Oh ! when he 
Shall question thee upon thy fortunes past; 
*v yd, haply, raise himself on his sick couch, 
To s ang, intent in silence, on thy speech, - 
Tell him, how dearly I have lov'd thee still ; 
And what sweet interchange of soft affections 
Our hearts have held together. Tell him, too, 
Aiistodemus' sad and painful fate ; 
And, sometimes, interrupt thy mournful tale, 
With one sad sigh, one pitying tear for me. — 
Adieu, now, my Cesira. - 

Ces. Whither go'st thou ? 
Ah! stay — return. 

Aris. What wouldst thou say ? 

Ces. Oh Heayen ! 
I know not; but I do beseech thee, stay ! 

Aris. Cesira! 

Ces. Oh, Aiistodemus! 

Aris. Come; 
For I no longer can resist. Come here ; 
Ev'n to my heart ; — embrace me— oh delight ! 
Oh ! sweet inexplicable tenderness ! 



158 AR18TODKMUS; OR, Ad III. 

And yet, this seems not foreign to my heart: 

Its pow'r I've felt before. Great Heav'n ! dost thou 

This strong sensation mingle with my torments, 

But to redouble them } Thou cruelly 

DeceiVst, and dost mislead me-— Ah! away, 

Cesira : hence ! It was a fury, hot 

From shades infernal, urg*d me to embrace thee : 

Away then— hence ! 

Ces. I pray thee, hear me yet. 

Arts. Leave me, I say. 

Ces. What sudden phrensy's this ? 

Arts. Fly me, ah ! fly. A cruel, unseen hand 
Between us interposes, and Tepels 
Our meeting hearts. Then fly me far, — far hence. 

Ces. One moment only — 

Arts. Tifl too late. Adieu ; 
Adieu for ever ! 

Ces* I beseech thee, stay,— 
But stay, and hear me ! [Exit A&jstodbm us. 



SCENE IV. 



Manet Cbsira. 



He avoids me then % 
me, in deepest agony of mind ; 
And I— how shall I have the heart to leave him ? 
To quit so much affection? To resign 
So many dear,— such precious recollections ? 



Scene V. thk spbctrs. 159 

Ah ! no j I cannot do it^~ln the name 
Of Heav'n, then, who art thou, Aristodemus ? 
That thou usurp'st, o'er my sad heart, such sway; 
At onoe so trtmblest, and so tonchest it I 



SCENE V. 

Ly bander, Palamedes, and Cesira. 

Lys. We were this moment seeking thee, Cesira. 
All is prepared for our departure hence ; 
And we await but thee. 

Ccs. Ah ! yet, Lysander, 
Delay awhile this mournful separation J 
Aristodemus in so sad a state 
Of desp'rate grief is plungM, that I'm alarm'd 
For what may be th' event: in me, it were 
Ingratitude and cruelty extreme, 
T 9 abandon him : so tenderly he lov'd me ; 
And so much kindness ever lavished on me. 

Lyt. Chief of the Spartan embassy, I came 
Sparta awaits, impatient, its result ; 
And all delay, on my part, were a crime* 
Thou, if thou wilt, remain. But yet, I grieve— 
I for thy father grieve ; who, not beholding 
His daughter's wish'd return, will suffer, thence* 
A weight of heart-felt woe. 

Ces. Ah ! dost thou think it ? 

Lyt. Grief will accelerate his end, no doubt. 

Get. Well then, let pity for my father's state 



**H 



* 



J 60 ARISTODBMUS; OR, Act II L 

Prevail. The Gods, I trust meanwhile, will fed it 
For sad Aristodemus, and watch o'er him, 
When I am gone. 

Pal. (*oLysandbr) She weeps. Ah! see, my friend, 
How barbarous a part thou play'st ! 

Ly*. Be silent. 
Thy promise keep ; and ne'er let Sparta know 
Of this thy weakness. 



SCENE VI. 

Gonippus, Lysander, Palamedes and Cesika. 

Gon. Take from me, dear friends, 
My last farewell. Thou Palamedes,— thou 
Cesira, sometimes call to mind, Gonippus > 
Remember too, Aristodemus. Much 
I fear, of him ere long, ye will receive 
Dire tidings. 

Ccs. Say not thus ! Heav'n will defend him ; 
Who virtue still, and the good king, protects. 
But tell me pray, how fares th' unhappy man ? 
What says he ? 

Gam. Nothing.— Speechless, motionless, 
Immers'd in gloomy thoughts, with folded arms,, 
Alone he sits. Perturb'd and dark of soul,. 
Now, on the ground, his wildly-glaring eyes 
He fixes; while, from time to time, the tears 
Stream, from their lids, down his unconscious cheeks. 
As one arous'd from sleep profound, he then 



Scene VL thb spectre. l6l 

Starts up, and roves at random, here and there, 
Touching and striking all his hands encounter. 
When questioned, still he gazes, but replies not, 

Ces. How much I pity him ! 

Gon. Relief, at length, 
A timely gush of tears affords, whereby 
The dread, oppressive weight has been removed 
From his o'er-loaded heart ; and now, more calm, 
He asks, if yet Cesira is departed. 
This, fain he'd know, and this to learn, I came. 

Ces, To him return then : say, thou wert, thyself, 
Witness to my departure. With what pain 
I go, my heart attests. Oh ! bid him live ! 
Say, his Cesira supplicates it of him. 
Bid him resist with fortitude his ills ; 
And in the goodness of the Gods confide. 
Thou too, support and aid him, still, Gonippus : 
I recommend him to thy care and love. 

Gon. This heart of mine pleads yet more warmly for 
him, 
Than do thy words ; and both I strongly feel. 

Ces. I both believe, and comprehend, Gonippus, 
The state of thy heart, from mine own. Say too, 
That I his kind remembrance ask 5 — and add, 
That I will cherish his lov'd memory, 
Long as a soul this grateful breast shall warm. 

Gon. All thy commands I'll punctually fulfil. 

Ces. Hear yet.— Should he enquire of thee, Gonippus, 
If in affliction I went hence, do thou, 
Who seest my sorrow, witness it for me. 

M 



162 AR1ST0DKMCJ8 ; OR, Ad 111. 

Lys. The pain of parting, this delay redoubles. 
Ces. Then — let us go at once. 
Lys. Come, Palamedes. 

Pal. Behold me ready. [A*de. 

I am doubtful, yet, 
Whether 'twere best, still to maintain my silence, 
Or break my promise.— How shall I resolve? 

{Exeunt Lysaitdzr, Palambdbs, and Cbsira. 



SCENE VII. 

Gonipf us, afterwards Aristodemus. 

Gon. How tender and how grateful is her soul ! 
Oh, tears ! of human pity sweet attestors. 
How soothing your enchantment to th' unhappy ! 
(To Aris.) At length, my lord, Cesira has departed. 
Nor unaccompanied her going hence, 
With show'rs of tears, and sighs of heartfelt grief. 

Aris. I could have wish'd that she had not departed. 
My heart a powerful, secret motive own'd 
For wishing to behold, yet once again, 
And speak with her. But be it so.— -Gonippus, 
War, grievous war is raging here within me. 

Gon. Ere long 'twill eease, I trust : yes, it will cease ; 
But be not thus enfeebled by thy woes. 
Struggle with them, and with thyself! Endeavour 
To cast aside each dark, and troubled thbught. 

Arts. Tell me> Gotiippus, tell me, of thy state 
What dost thou think > Ato I not truly wretched ? 



Scene VII. the spectre. 103 

Gon. We all are so, my lord : each has his sorrows* 

Am. 'Tis true: we all are wretched. We have, 
here, 
No earthly good, but death. 

Gon. How? 

Arts. Yes ; 'tis certain, 
Death is our only good. And think'st thou, death 
Can painful be, ev , n as it is describ'd } 

Gon. What says my king ? 

Ariz. Painful ?— I rather deem it, 
When 'tis the close of suff'ring, sweet and^ friendly. 

Gon. Ah! what imply these words, so wildly 
raving ? 

Arts. (After a pause.) Hear me, Gonippus ; I en- 
trust thee with it ; 
But, I beseech thee, let me not behold 
Thee, sadden'd by my words. Yet, one day more ; 
Solely, this day— then, down, into my grave. 

Gon. Into thy grave } What mean'st thou ? With 
those words, 
Thou' st pierc'd my very heart. 

Arts* But wherefore thus 
Afflict thyself, oh ! my most faithful friend ! 
Be calm ; I would not wound thy soul : I am 
Unworthy of thy tears* Allow then, aU 
My painful destiny its full completion -, 
And let the star, which hitherto, its course 
Has guided, set at length. The Sun to-morrow 
Will rise, which, from on high, was wont t 9 illume 
My greatness j through this palace he will seek me, 

M 2 



164 ARISTODKMUS 3 OR, Act III. 

In vain ! Nought will he find, save the cold stone 
Which shall enclose my corse. Ev'n thou, Gonippus, 
Shalt see it shortly. 

Gon. Cease, I pray thee, cease 
Such words to utter. From thy mind dispel 
This horrible madness 

Arts. No; my faithful friend : 
Rather, 'twere madness to endure this life, 
When it becomes a load. 

Gon. Whate'er it be, 
It is the gift of Heaven. 

Arts. If it makes me 
Unhappy, I renounce it. 

Gon. Yet, say, whence, 
My lord, thou hast received the right to do so ? 

Arts. From my misfortunes. 

Gon. Suffer them with courage. 

Arts. While still my courage rose to them superior,' 
I've suffer'd them. It now has sunk beneath them. 
That, also, had its bounds : the fulness, now, 
Of grief, has overpass'd them, and I yield. 

Gon. Thou'rt then, resolv'd ? — 

Aris. To die. 

Gon. Dost thou forget 
That, of the Gods thou, thus, usurp*st the right ? 
That men thou dost offend ; and Heav'n itself, 
A crime still greater, adding to thy first ? 

Arts. My friend, thou speakest with a heart at ease : 
Nor canst conceive, how mine is overcharged. 
Thou ne'er hast in thy children's bosoms thrust 



Scene VII, thb spbctrb. lf>5 

The deadly steel, nor, with their guiltless blood, 
A kingdom purchas'd. When it costs a crime, 
Thou knowest not, how heavy weighs a crown. 
The sleep is thine, of sweet -security : 
Dread, supernatural voices rouse thee not ; 
Thou'rt not for ever haunted by a spectre, 
Which furious, raging, closely follows thee, 
And even seizes th ee ' 

Gon. Thus, of a spectre, 
Must I, still, hear thee rave ? Oh ! good my lord 1 
Chase these ungrounded fears, that blind thy judg- 
ment? 

Arts. Ungrounded fears ? — Oh ! did I tell thee, yet, 
How barb'rous 'tis,— thy hair would rise on end, 
Through the excess of dread ; and on thy brow, 
Would stand, impressed, the terrors of mine own ! 

Gon* But yet, what pow'r may break through 
nature's laws, 
And the infernal barrier overleaping, 
Draw, thence, the dead to light ? And wherefore this ? 

Aris. To make the living tremble. Trust me, friend, 
I'm not, herein, deceiv'd ; myself have seen it $ 
And with these eyes, and with these hands— But 

wherefore 
Should I relate ?— Too dreadful is the tale. , 

Gon. Must I believe— 

Aris. Nay, nay 5 give it no credit. 
I rav'd— 'twas but a dream.— Believe it not. — 
Oh ! dread remains of my departed child ! N 
Dark spectre I—Daughter ! — yes ; I hear thy moan . 



166 ARISTODSMUS $ on, Jet III. 

Within yon tomb. Pcaoe, peace 3 I will content thee. 
Be hush'd, then ; rest !— And thou, Gonippus, say, 
Dost thou, too, hear it ) Oh ! I hear,— and tremble! 

Gon. My lord, what shall I say } An air of truth, 
And ev'n of greatness, so pervades thy words, 
They freeze my very heart. And is yon tomb, 
Truly, th* abode, then, of a spectre ? hast thou 
Thyself, both seen and heard it ? How ?— Ah ! tell me, 
Tell, I conjure thee, all. 

Arts. Well then 3 be this, 
This tale of horror, from my lips the last, 
Thou e'er shalt hear. Ev'n as thou now see'st me, 
Oft do I see my murder* d daughter's shade 5 
Alas I and how tremendous is the sight ! 
When all things sleep, and I, alone, sit wakeful, 
By the faint glimmering of a midnight lamp. 
Behold 1 the red flame suddenly grows pale 5 
And when I raise mine eyes, behold, the spectre 
Stands in my sight, and occupies the portal, 
With form of giant site, and threat* ning mien ! 
In a sepulchral mantle it is wrapt 3 
That self-same mantle, wherewith my Diroea 
Was shrouded, when thfey bore her to the grave. 
Clotted with blood and dust, the hair falls l?ack 
Upon its visage 3 yet more horrible, 
By such concealment, rend'rmg rt AppalTd, 
I backward start, averting, with a groan, 
My pained eyes 3 when io ! again I see it 
Beside me seated. Fixedly it eyes me, 
Immoveable and speechless, long remaining. 



Scene VII. t#e spbctrb. lfj? 

Then, from its face, the hair (still show'ring blood,) 

Removing, opes its vesture, and displays 

Its mangled bosom,-— its disfigured form,-*- 

Foul with still-dropping, black, corrupted wounds. 

In vain I thrust it from me ; yet more fiercely 

Advancing towards me, with its breast and arms. 

It presses on. Oh! then, methinks, I feel 

The pulses of its heart, still warm, though mangled:: 

While, at the touch, my hair with horror stands 

Upright, and bristled on my head. I aim 

To fly 3 but then, the spectre seizing me, 

Drags me, ev'n to the foot of yonder tomb ; 

And, " Here I wait for thee !" it cries; this said* 

It disappears. 

Gon. My soul is struck with horror ! 
And, whether this portentous scene be real, ' 
Or of a melancholy mind, depressed, 
By its afflictions, the delusive work, 
I pity thee, my liege 5 for hence, thou needs 
Must suffer much. But, not the lees, it were 
A weakness to despair. Unshaken firmness -• 
O'er all disasters triumphs. Time, and distance 
May, of thy troubled mind, dispel the mists. > 

Forsake this spot, where, by se many objects 
Thy grief is nourisWd. Let us travel o'er 
Thy provinces ; and visiting their cities, 
Their various customs note. A hundred ways 
Wilt thou, then, find, t' employ 0^40 divert 
Thy mind.— What dost thou jneiitate* Alasi 
Rash man! whatdostjihoj^aiin to de } . 



1()8 AR1ST0DBMUS } OR, Act III* 

Arts. (Going towards the tomb.) I fain 
Would enter there. 

Gon. Within that tomb ? Ye Gods ?— 
Hold ? — to what purpose ? 

Arts. To consult that shade. 
T' appease its wrath, or die. 

Gon. Yet stay, my lord ; 
My king, I do conjure thee ! 

Arts. What alarms thee } 

Gon. I fear thine own wild fantasies. Return ; 
Give up this project. 

Arts. Hope it not ! 

Gon. Ah! hear me. 
Alas ! my liege, what if it be the fact, 
That there a spectre dwells ? 

Arts. I long have been 
Accustom'd to behold it. 

Gon. What intend'st thou ? 

Arts. To speak to it. 

Gon. Ah ! no ; do not attempt it. 

Arts. Let what of dreadful will, befall me, I 
That shade will question. 1 will ask the cause, 
Wherefore a crime no pardon can obtain 
After such long remorse. I would, herein, 
Learn the designs of Heav'n $ what it commands, 
What it requires from me. 

Gon. Hear me. — Oh Gods ! 
How horrible a project ! 

Arts. Leave me, now $ 
Give me free passage, I command thee. 



Scene VII. the spectre. 169 

Gon. Yet, 
For pity hear me. Since thy will is fix'd, 
I ask one only favour ; and I ask it, 
Thus, — at thy feet. [Kneeling. 

Aris. Speak 3 what dost thou desire ? ' 

Gon. My lord, that steel, which by thy side thou 
hidest — 

Aris. Proceed. 

Gon. That steel, I ask of thee. 

Aris. (After a pause.) Well, take it. 
The moment is not yet arriv'd for me : 
Take it, affectionate and trusty servant ! 
So much attachment touches me at heart. 
Embrace me ; and be this pledge of my friendship, 
Of thy unequalled faith, the recompence. 

[Enters into the tomb* 



END OF THE THIRD ACT. 



***! 



170 AR18TODMMUS; OR, Act IV. 



ACT IV. 

SCENE I. 

Enter Cbsira, tvitk a wreath qfjbwers. 

Ccs. To Palamedes, sure, some friendly power 
An obstacle ha$ furoish'd to our going. 
I'll profit from it, to behold Again 
These scenes, so dear to me. Awhile ago, 
I left the grfcv'd Arfetod&nus here ; 
And hither, he, perchance, will soon return. 
This wreath, my daily and accustom'd tribute, 
Meanwhile, I'll o'er yon tomb append. Receive 
This token of affection, honour* d shade ! 
Oh ! why art thou not living still, Dircea ? 
I should with fondneos love thee ; thou shouldst be 
The chosen friend, nay, sister of Cesira. 
But yet, ev'n dead, I love thee ; and the name 
And mem'ry of Dircea, will I hold 
Sacred and mournful ever. Hah ! what noise 
Sounds from within the tomb? What moans and 
cries? — 

Arii. (Within the tomb.) Horrible apparition ! hence, 
and leave me ! 

Get* Oh, Heav'n ! it seems Aristodemus' voice. 
Oh help ! oh aid, ye holy Gods ! 



Scene II. THBSPECTRB. 171 

SCENE n. 

Aristodemus (rushing impetuously from the tomb, and 
falling senseless in front of the stage.) 

Ah ! leave me ! 

Have mercy, cruel shade ! 

Ces. Where shall I hide ? 
Wretch that I am, I neither can behold him, 
Nor cry aloud, nor fly«~*Who will resolve me ? 

How shall I act?— Oh ! could I but assist him ! * 

Alas ! the pallid hue of death is on him ! 
How from his brow, distil cold, deadly dews, 
While his locks, bristling, stand erect ! The view 
O'erwhelms me with affright ! Aristodemus, 
Aristodemus,— dost thou hear me? 

Arts. Fly,— 
Avaunt, and touch me not, unpitying vision ! 

Ces. Ope, yet, thine eyes. Look on me : it is I 
Who call thee, good my lord I 

Arts. How ?*— vanish'd*— gone } 
Where has it hid itself ?— Who, from the be 
Of that remorseless spirit, has preserved me ?• 

Ces. Of whom, in Heay'n's name, gpeakest titou, 

my lord? * 

What seek, on every side, thy roving eyes? 

Arts* Didst thorn nor see, nor hear it? 

Ces. Hear, — see, what ? 
My whole frame trembles at thy words. 

Aris. And thou, 



172 AIUSTODBMUS; OB, Act IV. 

Who in compassion com' st to my relief, 
Who art thou ? If from heav'n thou dost descend, 
A Deity,-— ah ! such proclaim thyself $ 
And, prostrate at thy feet, I will adore thee. 
Ces. Oh heav'n! what sayst thou ? know'st thou not 

Cesira? 
Aris. Who is Cesira ? 
Ces. He has lost, alas ! 
All recollection ! Know'st thou not these features ? 
Aris. I have them here, engraven on my heart — 
Yes, my heart speaks, and now, the veil's with- 
drawn. 
My sweet consoler, who has brought thee back 
To these fond arms ? — Oh ! let me, ev'n with thine 
Mingle my tears : my heart with grief will burst, 
If tears relieve me not. 

Ces. Pour all thy griefs 
Into this faithful breast Thou wilt not find 
Another to receive them, more impressed 
With sorrow and compassion. Thou hast utter'd 
Words, which have terrified me. Say, what is 
This cruel phantom, which so persecutes thee ? 

Aris. An innocent being, sent to persecute 
A guilty wretch. 

Ces. And who that guilty wretch ? 
Aris. *Tis I. 

Ces. Thou? — Wherefore wouldst thou have me deem 
thee 
So criminal ? 
Aris. Because, I kill'd her. 



Scene II. THE SPECTRE. 173 

Ces. Say'st thou > 
Whom didst thou kill? 

Aii$. My daughter. 

Ces. Oh, great Heav'n I 
He raves. Alas ! what madness urg*d him on 
To enter there ? — Ye pitying Gods ! IF ye 
Are pleas'd to be so term d, by suff'ring mortals , 
Restore to him, in mercy, his lost reason ! 
Ah ! let soft pity wake your care ! — My lord, 
Thou tremblest $ say, what dost thou thus contemplate 
So fixedly? 

Arts. It comes again. Behold there ! — 
It is the self-same thing. Dost thou not see it ! 
Ah ! hide— defend me for sweet mercy's sake, 
From its terrific sight ! 

Ces. Thou'rt, surely, raving. 
I can see nought, my lord, save yonder tomb. 

Aris. Look at it, yet. Erect and fierce it stands 
Ev'n on the open threshold. Look at it 1 
On me its stern and angry eyes it fixes. 
Oh, cruel one ! forbear ! If thou art truly 
My daughter's shade, why takest thou a form 
Like that tremendous ? — Who to thee hath giv'n 
The right thy father to oppress, and nature ? — 
'Tis silent $ it retreats, and fades away.— 
Alas ! how barb'rous is its persecution ! 

Ces. I also, now, through every vein experience 
The freezing thrill of fear. The apparition, 
I have not seen, 'tis true ; but the faint moans 
Methought I heard 5 and that mute horror, issuing 



174 abistodbmus ; or, Act lV m 



Forth from the open sepulchre ; thy 

The paleness of thy cheek ; and, more than all, 

The tumult which still agitates my soul, 

Make me no longer doubt that, in yon tomb, 

This dreadful spectre dwells. But tell me, wherefore, 

So visibly, to thine eyes it appears, 

While 'tis from mine conceal'd? 

Arts. Thou'rt innocent. 
Thy mild eyes were not fbrm'd to view the secrets 
Which, in their wrath, th 9 avenging Deities 
Discover to the guilty, to appal them. 
Thou ne'er hast shed thy children's blood j and thee 
The cry of Nature's self does not condemn. 

Ccs. And can it be, indeed, that thou art guilty ) 

Aris. I've so confess'd myself. But, I beseech thee, 
Henceforth! no more interrogate me.—- Fly me ; 
Abandon me. 

Ces. Abandon thee? Ah! nO: 
Thine exculpation, whatsoe'er thy crime, 
Is on my heart insctib'd. 

Aris. My condemnation 
In yonder heaven, also, is inscribed ; 
And there the blood, the guiltless blood, Cesira, 
Of unoffending innocence inscribed it. 

Ccs. How } are the dead implacable, my lord } 

Aris. Beyond the tomb, all right of exculpation 
The Gods have to themselves, alone, reserved. 
But, if thou hadst, thyself, my daughter been 5 
And I, with impious views, had murder'd thee, 
Ah ! say, wouldst thou, a mild and lenient shade, 



Scene II. the spectre. ] 75 

Thy stern assassin pardon ? Say, Cesira, 
Wouldst thou», in such case, pardon ? 

Ces. Ah! forbear. 

Aris. And granting that thou wouldst, dost thou 
believe, 
That Heav n itself would sanction thy forgiveness ? 

Ces. But yet, does Heav'n permit the souls of 
children 
Such long-protracted ire ; such cruel vengeance 
Against their parents } 

Aris. The decrees on high 
Are still severe, inscrutable, — mysterious. 
Neither, to mortal eye, is it permitted 
To pierce their darkness. Heav'n, perhaps, ordain'd 
My punishment a warning to mankind 5 
That ev'ry parent, thence, might learn to fear, 
And to respect, the kindly laws of Nature. 
Believe me, Nature is, When we insult her, 
fierce and vindictive in th* extreme. The name 
Of father, is not lightly borne 5 and soon 
Of late, he mourns repentant, who has fail'd 
Its duties to fulfil. 

Ces. Thou too, hast mourn'd. 
The time at length is, sure, arriv'd, to dry 
Thy tears, and from the adverse Gods implore 
The fruits of thy long penitence. My lord, 
Take courage. No crime is inexpiable. 
Endeavour to appease yon angry shade, 
By choicest victims, and devout oblations. 



i 



176 ARI8TODBMUS; OR, Act IV. 

Arts. (After a pause.) Ti&well; I will do so- Al- 
ready, too> 

The victim is prepar'd. 

Ces. Permit me, then, 
To share the holy work. 

Arts. Cesira, no! 
I would not have thee seek to witness it. 

Ces. Nay, rather with fair fiow'rs, myself will crown 
The victim, while I offer pray'rs to Heav'n 
That thy sad fate he chang'd. 

Arts. It will he chang'd j . 
I trust it will, ere long. 

Ces. Oh ! do not doubt it I 
Evils have still their limits. Heav'n's compassion 
Is often slow, but never known to fail. 
And sure, to thee, it least will fail, who all, 
By thy repentance hast — He hears me not ! 
Fix d are his eyes on earth ; nor does he wink 
Their lids: — he stands like one to stone transform 'd ! 
What can he be revolving in his mind ? 

Aris. No more : 'tis ev'n the way. It shall be so*. 
One instant, and 'tis sleep — I've now decided. 

Ces. Hast thou decided?— What? Oh! tell me 
what? 

Aris. Nothing $ but mine own peace. 

Ces. And speak'st thou this, 
With so much strong emotion ? 

Arts. No -, I'm calm. 
Dost thou not see it ? I'm completely calm. 



Scene II. . the spectre. 177 

Ces. Ah ! more this calmness fills me with alarm, 
Than thy late phrensy. Oh ! for pity's sake — ' 

He gives me no attention. What, ah ! what 
Is he, beneath his mantle, searching still ? 
There's not a* fibre in my frame, but trembles. 

Arts. Another may be found. Whate'er it be, 
Twill serve my purpose. [Going. 

Ces. Stay 5 1 pray thee, stay. 
Nay, do not go. Ev'n thus I beg it of thee, [Kneeling. 
Thus prostrate at thy feet. Oh ! listen to me ! 
And lay thy horrible intent aside ! 

Arts. Why, what intent art thou imagining ? 

Ces. Spare me, I pray, the horror of its utt'rance. 
Too plainly I perceive it : terror-struck, 
I shudder at the thought ! 

Arts. Fear nought disastrous 
Betiding me. Let this smile reassure thee. 

Ces. : Wild is that smile, and horrible to sight, 
More than thou, deem'stj and even that appals me. 
No, thine intentions are not innocent. 
Forego, my lord, forego them, I beseech thee ! 
Avoid me not: look at me, I, who thus 
Entreat thee, am— Oh, Heav'n ! he does not hear me. 
His reason is estrang'd, his senses gone ! — 
Ah! I am lost! stay, — hear, — FU follow thee — 

[Exit Aristodemus, sternly signing to her 
not to pursue him. 



N 



1 



178 aristodkmus; OR, Act IV. 



SCENE III. 

Cesira, Gonippus. 

Ces. Alas ! does he forbid it to me thus ? 
That signal and that frown hare terrified me. 
Ah ! Heav'n be prais'd ! Some deity, Gonippus, 
Hath sent thee hither ; for Aristodemus 
Is to distraction driv'n. Run then; fly to him, 
And save him from the madness that transports Mm ! 

[Exit Gonippus. 

SCENE IV. 

Manet Cbsiba. 

Aid him, kind God* J Oh ! what dire tumults here, 

Of strange sensations, rise ! I know, no longer, 

Where 'tis I breathe, or move, An unknown power 

Incites my tears ; yet I in vain essay 

To shed them ; while a voice awakes, within 

The deep recesses of my soul, commotions 

Mysterious, wild, and of unknown portent j 

Nor know I what to hope, nor what to fear* 

111 sit awhik. My heart is so oppresa'd, 

That my feet foil beneath me. [Sits. 



Scene V. The spe£tr£. \fg 

SCENE V. 

Eumjeus, Cesira in the distance. 

Eum. In Messenia, 
Itehold, at length, Eumaeus, thou'rt arriv'd. 
Oh ! how, from Sparta have I journied hither, 
Exhausted and fatigued ! But yet, in fine, 
I am arriv'd. Kind Gods ! I thank your goodness, 
That ye from Spartan slavery have freed me j 
Thus, breaking fetters, which have nearly wasted 
My whole of life away. How sweet is, now, 
My dear, recover'd freedom ! I behold, 
Again, my country > and these walls, so long, 
And vainly sigh'd-for, while my glad heart leaps 
With a confus'd delight. For thee, alone, — 
For thee, Aristodemus, do I grieve* 
I come to bring fresh sorrows to thy heart. 
Eumeeus thou wilt see, but not, again, 
Behold thy daughter. Heav'n forbade, that I 
Should save thy lov'd Argia. Otherwise, 
It hath dispos'd events. Now, who will guide me 
Into the royal presence } No one, here, 
I find, who knows me ; and the palace, all 
Around, seems desolate. I'll e'en advance 
This way— 

Ces. (Rising.) Who comes? Your pardoB, good old 
man; 
What is 't you seek ? 

Eum. I, of the king, would lain 

1,2 J.<^T 



180 ARISTODEMUS; OR, Ad IV. 

Have audience, noble damsel. I am one - 
Whom he would gladly see. 

Ces. Alas! thou'st chosen 
A time most inauspicious. By deep grief 
Oppressed, the king from every eye retires ; 
And speaking with him, were impossible. 
But, if not too presuming my enquiry, 
Tell me, who art thou ? 

Eum. If Eumssus' name 
Have ever met thine ear, behold, in me, 
Eumssus' self. 

Ces. Eumssus ! — Pow'rful Gods ! 
And who knows not Eumssus ? Who is ignorant 
That, thee, Aristodemus had dispatch'd 
To Argos, thither to convey in safety, 
His infant child Argia ? Yet, a rumour 
Ran, here, that thou, near Ladon's mouth, wert slain, 
And with thee at the time, the ill-starr'd babe, 
By a fierce troop of Spartan soldiers. This, 
The king himself has ev'n believ'd ; -and thenceforth, 
Has wept, and still deplores, his daughter's death. 

Eum. Whether the hapless infant lives ; or where, 
Or by what means, I cannot ascertain ; 
But, since the enemy my life has spar'd, 
I well believe they, also, will have sav'd 
That of the young Argia ; and the rather, 
If they its value and importance knew. 

Of. And thou, how hast thou, since, preservM thy 
life? 
How compass'd thy return ? 



Scene V. the spectre. I* l 

Eum. Long time, within 
A dungeon deep, 1 was immurM ; and they, 
They best can tell, Barbarians ! to what end, 
They so prolonged my miserable life. 
Each flattering hope I had already lost $ 
And ev'n of freedom the desire itself; v 
Save, of my heart, one secret, strong emotion, 
Which ever caus'd me to recall to -mind 
My dear, my native plains, and the blest shores 
Of my belov'd Pamisus ; breathing, oft, 
A sigh, o'er their sweet, mournful recollections. 
Hence did I hope, that pitying death, at length, 
Would, from my tedious sufferings release me. 
When, suddenly, I saw my prison-doors 
Thrown widely open ; and was told, that peace 
Between ourselves and Sparta, soon would end 
Our martial quarrels, and long-cherish'd hate ; 
And that, meanwhile, a chief of the Laconiana, 
(Of the sad changes of my fate inform'd,) 
In pity to my long-protracted ills, 
My freedom had procured before the time. 
To him, without delay I, therefore, hasten'd, 
Since gratitude is chiefest of our duties. 
An aged man, of venerable aspect, 
I found ; who lay, then, at the point of death. 
Up-raising from his couch, his frame infirm, 
He came to meet me, and embrac'd me, weeping. 
Then said : " Seek not to learn the cause, Eumseus. 
" Which has induc'd me to unloose thy chains. 
" It will lie known to thee, when, in Messenia 



Ifl2 AR1ST0DJSMU6 j OB, Act IV 

" Thou shalt arrive. There shaft thou seek, with 

speed, 
" A damsel nam'd Cesira."*^- 

Ces. Heav'ns !--Cesira } 

Eum. The same precisely, " Give her this/' he 
added ; 
And drawing forth a scroll, with trembling hand, 
To me consign'd it. 

Ces. Ah • I pray thee, tell me 
His name. 

Eum. Talthybius. 

Ces. Oh, ye Pow'rs !— Talthybius ? 
What is 't thou say* st ? Was it, indeed, Talthybius ? 

Eum. Was he, then., known to thee ? 

Ces. He is my father 5 
I, that Cesira, whom he bade thee seek* 

Eum. 'Its well ; if thou art she, behold the paper 
Talthybius gave me. [Givts « $croll. 

Ces. Give it me. I feel 
My heart all trembling agitation, 

lOpens, and reads the scroll. 
" When thou this scroll shalt read, Cesira, death 
" Already will have cut my vital thread. 
" Before I die, this I reveal to thee, 
" This secret of importance. I, thy father 
" Have only been, by ties of fond affection. 
" Who was thy real father, none can tell thee, 
" Except Lysander. Well his name he knows ; 
" And if he hide it, 'tis alone, because 
" He secretly detests him, and betrays thee. 



Scene VI. thbspectrjk. 183 

49 Farewell. An oath forbids me to say more j 
*' But what Talthybius here asserts, is true." 
Where am I > What strange tale is this I've read ? 

Eum. Lady, I now the cause can comprehend, 
Wherefore Talthybius, at his death, exclaim'd, 
While tears rolTd down his cheeks : " Would I had 

" ne'er 
" Deceiv'd an innocent maid ! " 

Ces. (Reading.) " His name he knows $ 
" And, if he hide it, 'tis alone, because 
« He secretly detests him, and betrays thee/ 9 
Does he, indeed, betray me ) Ah ! vile traitor !— 
But let me haste to seek this barb'rous man. 



SCENE VI. 

Ltsandkr, Palamidbs, Eumjeus, and CfcsiftA. 

Cet. (To Ltsandkr,) Thou seasonably com'st. 
Read this. [Gives the scroll. 

Eum. Methinks, 
I've, elsewhere, seen that face, assuredly. 
Assist me, memory ! to recall its owner. 
Lys. (Returning the scroll) This paper's false $ and 

old Talthybius doted. 
Ces. Talthybius doted ? False, perfidious man ! 
This is no raving of a dotard's brain. 

Eum. No ; 1 mistake not : 'tis ev'n he Just 
Heav'n !— 



164 ARISTO0KMUS ; Oft, Act IV. 

Oh! let me, let me speak! (To Lysande*.) Fix, 

here, thine eyes. 
Know'st thou this countenance? 

Lys. To my remembrance 
It seems not new, yet I recall it not. 

Eum. Forgett'st thou, then, the mouth of Ladon's 
flood, 
The little stolen child ? 

Lys. I know it, now. 
But how alive, — and here-? 

Eum. In me, behold 
The man, from whom thou stol'st the hapless babe. 

Ces. Of whom, Eumceus, dost thou speak ? 

Eum. 1 speak 
Of young Argia. This, in truth, is he 
Who took her from me forcibly. 

Pal. Now speak, 
My friend ; or I myself will all reveal. 

Eum. Make answer: tell th* unhappy infant's fate? 

Lys. Dissembling, now, were vain. No more. The 
maid 
Thou seek'st, of whom I robb'd thee, the long-lost 
Argia lives, — and lives in thee, Gesinu [To Cbsira. 

Eum. I well foresaw it. 

Ces. How 4 What said Ly sander? 
Who ami? 

Eum. Thou'rt the long-depfortl Argia; 
Thou art the daughter of Aristodemus. 
Oh ! my heart told me this J 

Ces. And am I, then, 



Scene VII. the spectrb. 185 

Aristodemus' daughter? Thou, barbarian l 

[To Lysander. 
Thou knew'st me such, and hadst the heart, so long 
To hide the truth > Oh ! base, ignoble spirit ! 
More vile, more worthless, than the dust we trample ; 
I comprehend thy views 5 but Heaven, in justice 
Has thwarted them. Away! I cannot bear 
The horror of thy sight. — What stays me here } 
Oh ! let me to my father fly, and change 
In his fond arms, his sorrows into joy ! 

[Exit hastily, followed by Eumjeus. 



SCENE VH. 

Manent Lysander, and Palamedes. 

Ia/s. Heard' st thou her mortifying words ? 

Pal. I did. 

Lys. Let us go hence -, and let me, elsewhere, bear 
My deep chagrin and shame. 

Pal. Yes 3 we will hence. 
I, now, go willingly 3 since with my friend, 
I've not by breaking faith, my honour stain 'd ; 
Nor bear I hence away with me, remorse 
For having, long maintained an unjust silence. 



END OF ACT THE FOURTH. 



186 AR1ST0DAMUS; OR, Ad V. 



ACT V. 

SCENE I. 

Gonippus, then Akgia. 

Gon. Ah ! where can he have, thus, ooneeaTd him- 
self? 
I, with a trembling heart, am seeking him, 
Yet scarcely for an instant hath he left me ! 
Wherefore did he deceive me ? Why affect 
To court repose, and disappear so swiftly?— 
Argia here ? 

Arg. GonippuS"— 

Gon. Hast thou found him 1 

Arg. Nay, hast thou seen him ? 

Gon. My research is Tain. 

Arg. Alas ! unhappy me ! 

Gon. Be not disturbed. 
Thy father hath no weapon. From his side, 
The poniard, which he held, I took away. 

Arg. Hast thou that poniard still \ 

Gon. (Producing the dagger.) Behold it here. 

Arg. Yet, should he find another? Oh ! for HeavVs 
sake, 
Let us, again, throughout the palace, seek him ! 

Gon. What if, meanwhile, he hither turn ? 



Scene III. thb spectre. 187 

Arg. I, then, 
Will here remain. But go—run thou with 
Be not a moment lost ! 



SCENE II. 

Manet Argia. 

Alas ! what dire 
Forebodings of disaster overwhelm me ! 
Father — Aristodemus— oh ! my father ! 
Dost thou not hear me ? All, alas i is mute 5 
And nothing seems to answer, save the echo 
From yonder tomb. — Oh ! holy Gods ! what if 
He were within it hidden } — Yes, too surely, 
Awhile ago he was so : doubtless, then, 
Fresh mental wand* rings have, again, misled him. 
I'll seek him, there, myself. — But if the spectre ? — 
Ah ! when a father's valued life 's in danger, 
Shall I, by fear of spectres, be deterr'd ? 
I'll enter: yes, though all Avernus open'd 
On my shock'd gaze, I'd meet it unappall'd! 

[Eiders the tomb. 

scene .in. , 

Aristodemus. 

Arts. Behold the tomb,— the altar, which my blood 
Must bathe. This steel, at length, I've found. Its 
poiftt 



J 



AmiSIODEM CS : O*, Act V. 



sharp; them let me strike.— How } tremhlest 



thou the bosom of Ay deepins child, 
Did* pierce monete. Dl it, bow, bete 
Tohfiintf: 'tfc thine to die: and thorn, 
Cone forth; thou horrible spectre ! Tisthy 
Come; and behold thy vengeance aD fblfiird ! 
Direct, thyself, the blow.— It hears my words, 
It hastens hither. Hark! I know the sound! 
Lo! the tomb shakes! Tit here. Come; 

shade! 
Thou hast demanded blood ; and this is blood. 

[SUb* himself. 



SCENE THE LAST. 

Amoikjrom the tomb, Aristodemus, Gowippus, 

EuMJBUS. 

Jrg. Oh hold !— Alas! what hath thy rash hand done? 
What fury hath transported thee ? 

Oon. Eunueus, 
Run thou, support him on that side ; and here, 
Well gently lay him. [They hear him to a couch. 

Arts. Trouble me no more, 
Officious friends:— too late, and rain, your cares. 
Leave, leave me ! 

Arg. Oh ! for pity, curb this phrensy ! 
Know that— I am— -Tears interrupt my speech. 

Aris. Imprudent girl,— Cesira, — wherefore here ? 



\ 

\ 



Scene IK THK SPECTRE. 189 

Content, — more satisfied, I should have died, 
Without beholding thee. Who brought thee here 
In cruelty ? And who art thou, beside me, 
Compassionate old man, who, weeping still, 
Dost hide thy features ? I would fain behold thee.—' 
What face is that ? 

Eum. Ah ! Sire, in me behold, 
And recognise thy faithful, tried — 

Aris. Eumseus? 

Eum. Yes, 'tis ev'n he. Thy daughter, too, is safe— 

Arts. Argia? 

Eum. Whom to me thou didst entrust, 
And hast deplor'd as lost— - 

Arts. Proceed. 

Eum. Already, 
She stands before thine eyes: look there,— 'tis she ! 

Arts. How ? Is Cesira, then, my daughter ? 

Arg. Yes; 
But oh ! dear father, if I, now, must lose thee y 
How shall it profit me ? 

Aris. Do I then, thus 
Regain thee ? thus ? — The vengeance, now, of Heaver/ 
I see completed : now, of death I feel 
The torturing rack. Oh ! fatal, late disclosure !— 
Child, in my heart an impious phrensy burns, 
Which, ev'n perforce, will have' me curse the hour 
In which I know, and lose thee! 

Arg. Pitying Gods ! 
Restore to me my rather, or with him, 
Here, let me die ! 



1$0 ARISTODBMUS ? OR, Act V. 



\ 



Arts. Unthinking girl ! What pity 
Expect'st thou from the Gods ? That they exist, 
I do, indeed, believe $ and my misfortunes 
To my confusion, prove it) but, they're cruel: 
Their rigour, child, hath forc'd me to this step* 

Arg. Oh ! hear me, Heaven ! and behold my tears f 
Pardon his rash, insensate words ! — My father ! 
Add not a crime to thy calamities— 
The greatest of all crimes, the blasphemies 
Of desperate men ! 

Arts. 'Tis the sole privilege 
Which hath remam'd to me. Shall I expect 
In this state, clemency ? How can I ask it I % 
Or know, ev'n, if I wish it ? 

Arg. Banish yet 
This horrible fear : compose thy troubled' mind, 
And raise thine eyes to Heav'n. 

Gon. He casts them downwards -, 
And inly murm'ring, changes countenance* 

Ari$. Ah! whither are ye dragging me? Where 
am I? 
What desert wild and dark is this ? Drive hence 
Yon pallid ghosts ! Oh ! say, for whom ptepar'd 
Yon red-hot scourges! 

Arg. Oh ! my heart dies in me I 

Eum. Unhappy king ! 

Gon. The agonies of death 
Bring on delirium. Sire,— Aristodeaius~~ 
Dost thou yet know me > 'Tis Gonippus speaks : 
This is thy daughter. 






Scene IV. thb sphctrb. 19* 

Arts. Well, what would my daughter ? 
Grant that I slew her 5 I have also moura'd 
Her fate untimely. Is that insufficient 
T' avenge her cause ? Then, let her come before me ; 
111 speak to her, myself. Oh ! look at her ! 
Her tresses are composed of shaggy thorns, 
And viewless sockets in her forehead stand ! 
Who put her eyes out > Wherefore gushes forth 
Blood, from her wounded nostrils ? Draw, I pray you, 
Draw o'er the rest, a veil.— -Here, with the skirt 
Of this my royal mantle, cover her ! 
Destroy that worthless crown, stain'd with her blood ; 
[Tearing off, and throwing away his crown. 
Then, scatter its remains,— -its dust, o'er all 
The thrones on earth > and tell their kings, that, still, 
A crown, by crimes obtain'd, is bought too dearly ; 
And that I died— [Diet- 

Gon. How dread a death ! 'Tis o'er* 
Aristodemus, in that groan, expir'd ! 



THJK CURTAIN DROPS. 



FINIS, 



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